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Patients Take Heart In Scanner Improvements

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-03

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New and improved computerized tomography (CT) scanners mean heart patients may not need an invasive angiogram.

Angiogram technology is a half-century old. Patients despise them while their prudent cardiologists favor their image quality.

But newer offerings in the CT product range may give angiograms a big nudge toward the shelves of a museum.

Modern CT scanners take three-dimensional images of the heart muscle. The high quality computerized pictures allow doctors to see arteries and check for signs of disease.

One scanner from GE Healthcare can take a comprehensive view of the heart in the span of five heartbeats, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Concerns about the image detail as compared to angiograms, coupled with the higher level of radiation exposure from a CT scan, will keep the machines from going into widespread use initially.

Both of those areas of concern will be addressed over time. Also, CT makers like Phillips Electronics and Toshiba along with GE Healthcare may give a boost to the arterial stent industry.

More widespread adoption of CT scanners will help bring down their prices. With more machines available, more patients will be candidates for the less-invasive CT procedure. And with more patients, the potential for finding more instances of arterial blockages - treatable by stents - increases.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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