Dave Fornell, ITN Editor

Dave Fornell is the editor of Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiology magazine and assistant editor for Imaging Technology News magazine.

Blog | Dave Fornell, ITN Editor | September 03, 2014

Future Cardiovascular CT Advances to Watch

As technology continues to advance for all diagnostic imaging modalities, it sometimes reminds me of a race between vendors to build a better mouse trap. The main issue between cardiac echo, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear (SPECT and PET) and invasive angiography is that each has its strengths and weaknesses. When one test falls short, another is used to add diagnostic information, but it also adds time and cost. Unfortunately, in this era of cutting costs and bundled payments, the holy grail of medical imaging would be a one-stop shop cardiac imaging test that combines the majority of the key assets of each of these modalities.

I attended the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) annual meeting in July, where both cardiologists and radiologists came together to make a case for why CT will become the primary cardiac imaging test in coming years. It showed CT radiation is declining and new technology can bring cardiac CT doses below 1 mSv, which is key to CT’s wider acceptance. Data from several trials demonstrate the viability of CT to accurately show myocardial perfusion and fractional flow reserve (FFR) data for the entire coronary tree from a single scan. Work is also continuing to improve plaque characterization software to bring it on par with invasive catheter-based virtual histology intravascular ultrasound (VH-IVUS) or spectrographic plaque analysis. Additionally, spectral CT imaging may enable a new way to image chemical makeup of tissue and allow new types of contrast media. 

Speakers at SCCT discussed the use of gold nanoparticles with a polyethylene glycol (PEG) coating, or tantalum, as replacement agents for iodine blood imaging; bromide and fluorine with a phospholipid coating to image liver tumors; and iodine-loaded or bismuth nanoparticles with a biomarker to target fibrin to clearly image blood clots. Nanoparticles may also boost the ability of iodine as a contrast agent. By coating iodine inside liposome particles, the outer shell will protect the iodine from breaking down immediately, both extending its imaging half-life and possibly aiding renal clearance over a longer period of time to reduce contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN). 

New types of contrast, especially if combined with spectral CT, may enable inflammation and macrophage imaging, both components of vulnerable plaque. If validated, this new way to image vulnerable plaques prior to rupture might offer a novel way to determine heart attack risk and possibly identify lesions to stent before a heart attack occurs.  

To read more on these and other cardiac CT advances, see the article from the September-October 2014 issue of DAIC. 

Watch a video interview regarding these advances in cardiac CT.

Related Content

Toshiba Highlights Latest CT Advancements at RSNA 2017
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 18, 2017
Toshiba Medical announced that it will display several new enhancements to its existing computed tomography (CT)...
Hitachi Supria True64 CT Receives FDA Clearance
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 15, 2017
September 15, 2017 — Hitachi Healthcare Americas Inc. announced it has attained U.S.
Matrix Analytics Beginning Validation of Deep Learning Lung CT Tools
News | Lung Cancer | September 13, 2017
Matrix Analytics announced it will clinically validate its LungDirect deep learning and predictive analytics tools for...
Orange County, Calif. Hospital Adopts Siemens Somatom Force CT for Cardiac Imaging
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 12, 2017
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian recently became the first hospital in Orange County, Calif., to install the Siemens...
Patient X-ray radiation exposure from medical imaging has been a hot topic in radiology and has prompted the implementation of radiation dose monitoring systems.
Feature | Radiation Dose Management | September 08, 2017 | By Dave Fornell
Patient X-ray radiation exposure from medical imaging has been a hot topic in radiology and has prompted the...
Technology | Radiation Dose Management | September 07, 2017
September 7, 2017 — Sapheneia and Scannerside received U.S.
20/20 GeneSystems Launches AI-Based Lung Cancer Detection Technology in China
Technology | Lung Cancer | August 28, 2017
20/20 GeneSystems Inc. recently released in China what is believed to be the world’s first machine learning algorithm...
Philips to Develop FFR-CT in Partnership With HeartFlow
News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 28, 2017
August 28, 2017 — Philips Healthcare and HeartFlow Inc.
St. Cloud Hospital Installs Toshiba Aquilion One Genesis CT for Emergency Department
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | August 23, 2017
Central Minnesota residents now have access to advanced computed tomography (CT) technology that is safe and fast at St...
Overlay Init