Feature | August 27, 2014

SCCT Guidelines Outline Use of Coronary CTA for Acute Chest Pain in the ED

August 27, 2014 — The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) has published the “SCCT Guidelines on the Use of Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography for Patients Presenting with Acute Chest Pain to the Emergency Department” document, printed in the July/August issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

Diagnosis and triage of emergency department (ED) patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes (ACS) consumes a large and increasing amount of healthcare resources. This guideline document develops recommendations for acquiring, interpreting and reporting of cardiovascular CT to ensure adequate, safe and efficient use of this modality. These recommendations were produced as an educational tool for practitioners to improve the diagnostic care of patients presenting with acute chest pain to the ED, in the interest of developing systematic standards of practice for coronary CTA based on the best available data or broad expert consensus. Due to the highly variable nature of medical care, and individual and unique patient presentations and circumstances, approaches to patient selection, preparation, protocol selection, interpretation or reporting that differs from these guidelines may represent an appropriate variation based on a legitimate assessment of an individual patient's needs.

"Coronary CTA is safe and highly effective for diagnosis of acute chest pain, but systematic standards for its clinical application have not been available," said Gilbert Raff, M.D., Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich., and chair of the document's writing group. "These guidelines provide an authoritative resource for physicians, allied health practitioners, radiology staff, healthcare systems and third-party payers for development, implementation and quality assurance of computed tomography programs for acute chest pain diagnosis."

Jonathon Leipsic, M.D., FSCCT, co-chair of the SCCT Guidelines committee, added, "Extensive recently published randomized trial data have confirmed the important role of coronary CTA for the diagnosis of acute chest pain. These guidelines serve as a comprehensive guide for imagers and clinicians alike to help with the appropriate integration of coronary CTA into an acute chest pain algorithm."

The SCCT Writing Group for the document, comprised of nine cardiologists and radiologists, has been developing it since 2013. The guidelines abstract is available online here. The full manuscript is available on the SCCT website.

For more information: www.scct.org

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