Bernhard A Herzog

University of Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

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Publications (69)444.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To compare the predictive value of epicardial and intrathoracic fat volume (EFV, IFV), coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) for major adverse cardiac events (MACE). Follow-up was obtained in 275 patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD), who underwent SPECT-MPI including non-contrast cardiac computed tomography (CT) for attenuation correction to evaluate ischaemic heart disease and in whom EFV, IFV, and CAC score were calculated from non-contrast CT. Associations between fat volume, traditional cardiovascular risk factors, CAC score, and SPECT-MPI results were assessed and MACE predictors identified by Cox proportional hazard regression and global χ(2) statistics. After a median follow-up of 2.9 years, MACE were recorded in 38 patients. In univariate Cox regression analysis, EFV and IFV were predictors of MACE (P = 0.013 and P = 0.004, respectively). In multivariate analysis, EFV and IFV provided incremental predictive value beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01). However, after adjustment for CAC score and SPECT-MPI results, EFV and IFV fell short of statistical significance as independent outcome predictors. Quantification of EFV and IFV is associated with MACE and may improve risk stratification beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors. However, once CAC score and/or SPECT-MPI results are known, EFV and IFV do not provide any added clinically relevant prognostic value. Further studies may identify the subpopulation with the largest relative merit of EFV and IFV as an adjunct to SPECT-MPI and CAC score. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging
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    ABSTRACT: Left bundle branch block (LBBB) is considered an unfavourable prognostic marker in patients with underlying heart disease. Testing for coronary artery disease (CAD) is often prompted by incidental LBBB finding, but published studies disagree about a significant association between LBBB and CAD. We therefore assessed the association of LBBB with previously unknown CAD in patients undergoing coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). We enrolled 818 patients (mean age 57.2 ± 11.1 years, 106 patients with presumably new LBBB and 712 controls) without known CAD who underwent 64-slice CCTA. Image quality was assessed for each coronary segment. Comparison of obstructive CAD prevalence (defined as ≥50% stenosis) was performed using triple case-matching for pre-test probability (based on age, gender, and symptom typicality) in 101 LBBB patients and 303 matched controls with diagnostic quality in all segments. We found no difference in obstructive CAD prevalence between LBBB patients and matched controls (15 vs. 16%, P = 0.88). Similarly, there were no significant differences in cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF), stenosis severity, CAD extent, non-obstructive CAD, and vessel-based analysis between patient groups. Image quality was very high in LBBB patients and comparable to controls. On multivariate analysis, age, gender, typical angina, and CVRF, but not LBBB (P = 0.94), emerged as significant and independent predictors of obstructive CAD. CAD prevalence is similar in LBBB patients at low-to-moderate pre-test probability compared with controls with similar CVRF matched for age, gender, and symptom typicality. CCTA is a useful imaging modality in LBBB patients, providing comparable image quality to non-LBBB controls. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2015. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The American journal of medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of attenuation correction (AC) for cardiac (18)F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) using MR-based attenuation maps. Methods: We included 23 patients with no known cardiac history undergoing whole-body FDG PET/CT imaging for oncological indications on a PET/CT scanner using time-of-flight (TOF) and subsequent whole-body PET/MR imaging on an investigational hybrid PET/MRI scanner. Data sets from PET/MRI (with and without TOF) were reconstructed using MR AC and semi-quantitative segmental (20-segment model) myocardial tracer uptake (per cent of maximum) and compared to PET/CT which was reconstructed using CT AC and served as standard of reference. Results: Excellent correlations were found for regional uptake values between PET/CT and PET/MRI with TOF (n = 460 segments in 23 patients; r = 0.913; p < 0.0001) with narrow Bland-Altman limits of agreement (-8.5 to +12.6 %). Correlation coefficients were slightly lower between PET/CT and PET/MRI without TOF (n = 460 segments in 23 patients; r = 0.851; p < 0.0001) with broader Bland-Altman limits of agreement (-12.5 to +15.0 %). PET/MRI with and without TOF showed minimal underestimation of tracer uptake (-2.08 and -1.29 %, respectively), compared to PET/CT. Conclusion: Relative myocardial FDG uptake obtained from MR-based attenuation corrected FDG PET is highly comparable to standard CT-based attenuation corrected FDG PET, suggesting interchangeability of both AC techniques.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · European Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: While area detector computed tomography (ADCT) is a useful tool for coronary artery disease (CAD) evaluation, myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with single photon emission computed tomography is a well-established method of predicting functional relevance of CAD. Purpose: We assess the usefulness for decision making using both ADCT and MPI and discussed from the standpoint of cost for diagnostic work-up and contrast agent. Method: Between January, 2013 to September, 2014, 78 patients underwent both ADCT and MPI within two months were analyzed their therapeutic strategy. From ADCT, severity of stenosis was divided non-significant(less than 50%), moderate (over or equal to 50% and less than 75%) and severe (over or equal to 75%). Summed difference score of MPI was judged as ischemia positive. Result: Table showed the result and executed treatment strategy. Patients with significant stenosis by ADCT were 40 patients (51.3%) and patients with ischemia positive were 25 patients (33.8%). Invasive revasculization was performed higher (82.3%, p<0.01) for the patients with significant stenosis and ischemia than moderate stenosis with ischemia (25%) or significant stenosis without ischemia (39.1%). Before taking invasive therapy, examination with ADCT and MPI saved 63700 yen and about 100ml of contrast agent in each case based study as it was compared with the case with ADCT and coronary angiography without MPI in spite of slightly higher radiation dose (4mSv). Conclusion: The combined use of ADCT and MPI could choose effectively treatment strategy of CAD with a reduction of cost and contrast agent.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Background Echocardiographic quantification of mitral regurgitation (MR) can be challenging if the valve geometry is significantly altered. Our aim was to compare the quantification of MR by the recently developed real time three-dimensional (3D) volume color flow Doppler (RT-VCFD) method to the conventional two-dimensional (2D) echocardiographic methods during the MitraClip procedure.Methods Twenty-seven patients (mean age 76 ± 8 years, 56% male) were prospectively enrolled and severity of MR was assessed before and after the MitraClip procedure in the operating room by 3 different methods: (1) by integrative visual approach by transesophageal echocardiography, (2) by transthoracic 2D pulsed-wave Doppler–based calculation of aortic stroke volumes (SV) and mitral inflow allowing calculation of regurgitant volume, and (3) by transthoracic 3D RT-VCFD–based calculation of regurgitant volume.ResultsWe found moderate agreement between the integrative visual approach and the 3D RT-VCFD method for assessment of MR severity before (κ = 0.4, P < 0.05) and after MitraClip (κ = 0.5, P < 0.05). Relevant MR (3+ and 4+) was detected by visual approach in 27/27 and by 3D-VCFD method in 24/27 patients before and in 1 patient by both methods after the MitraClip procedure. In contrast, MR quantification by 2D SV method did not agree with the integrative visual approach or with the 3D RT-VCFD method.Conclusions Quantification of MR before and after percutaneous MV repair by 3D RT-VCFD is comparable to the integrative visual assessment and more reliable than the 2D SV method in this small study population. Further automation of 3D RT-VCFD is needed to improve the accuracy of peri-interventional MR quantification.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Echocardiography
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    ABSTRACT: Long term follow-up of coronary CT angiography (CCTA) is scarce. The aim of the present study was to assess the prognostic value of CCTA over a follow-up period of more than 6 years. 218 Patients were included undergoing 64-slice CCTA. Images were analysed with regard to the presence of nonobstructive (<50 %) or obstructive (50 % stenosis) coronary artery disease (CAD). Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) were defined as death, nonfatal myocardial infarction or urgent coronary revascularization. CCTA revealed normal coronaries in 49, nonobstructive lesions in 94, and obstructive CAD in 75 patients. During a median follow-up period of 6.9 years, MACE occurred in 45 patients (21 %). Annual MACE rates were 0.3, 2.7, and 6.0 % (p = 0.001), for patients with normal CCTA, nonobstructive, and obstructive CAD, respectively. Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified the number of segments with plaques [hazard ratio (HR) 1.18, p = 0.002] as well as the presence of obstructive lesions (HR 2.28, p = 0.036) as independent predictors of MACE. The present study extends the predictive value of CCTA over more than 6 years. Patients with normal coronary arteries of CCTA continue to have an excellent cardiac prognosis, while outcome is progressively worse in patients with nonobstructive and obstructive CAD.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · The international journal of cardiovascular imaging
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the feasibility and image quality of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) acquisition with a submillisievert fraction of effective radiation dose using model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) for noise reduction. In 42 patients undergoing standard low-dose (100-120 kV; 450-700 mA) and additional ultra-low-dose CCTA (80-100 kV; 150-210 mA) reconstructed with MBIR, segmental image quality was graded on a four-point scale [(i): non-evaluative, (ii): good, (iii): adequate, and (iv): excellent]. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was calculated dividing left main artery (LMA) and right coronary artery (RCA) attenuation by the aortic root noise. Over a wide range of body mass index (18-40 kg/m(2)), the estimated median radiation dose exposure was 1.19 mSv [interquartile range (IQR): 1.07-1.30 mSv] for standard and 0.21 mSv (IQR: 0.18-0.23 mSv) for ultra-low-dose CCTA (P < 0.001). The median image quality score per segment was 3.5 (IQR: 3.0-4.0) in standard CCTA vs. 3.5 (IQR: 2.5-4.0) in ultra-low dose with MBIR (P = 0.29). Diagnostic image quality (scores 2-4) was found in 98.7 vs. 97.8% coronary segments (P = 0.36). Introduction of MBIR for ultra-low-dose CCTA resulted in a significant increase in SNR (P < 0.001) for LMA (from 15 ± 5 to 29 ± 7) and RCA (from 14 ± 4 to 27 ± 6) despite 82% dose reduction. Coronary computed tomography angiography acquisition with diagnostic image quality is feasible at an ultra-low radiation dose of 0.21 mSv, e.g. in the range reported for a postero-anterior and lateral chest X-ray.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · European Heart Journal
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    ABSTRACT: -Quantification of the mitral valve area (MVA) is important to guide percutaneous mitral valve repair using the MitraClip(TM) system. However, little is known how to best assess MVA in this specific situation. -Immediately pre and post MitraClip implantation, comprehensive three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3D TEE) data were acquired for MVA assessment by pressure half-time method (MVAPHT) and by two 3D quantification methods (mitral valve quantification software (MVAMVQ) and 3D quantification software (MVA3DQ)). In addition, transmitral gradients by continuous-wave Doppler (dPmeanCW) were measured to indirectly assess MVA. Data are given as median (interquartile range). 33 patients (39% women) with a median age of 77.1 (12.4) years were studied. Pre intervention, the median MVA by PHT, MVQ and 3DQ were 4.4 (2.0) cm(2), 4.7 (2.4) cm(2) and 6.2 (2.4) cm(2), respectively (p <.001). Post intervention the MVA was reduced to 1.9 (0.7) cm(2), 2.1 (1.1) cm(2) and 2.8 (1.1) cm(2), respectively (p =.001). The median values for dPmeanCW pre and post intervention were 1.0 (1.0) and 3.0 (3.0) mmHg (p <.001). At discharge, the median dPmeanCW was 4.0 (3.0) mmHg. In multivariate regression analyses including body surface area, the three different MVA methods and dPmeanCW, a post dPmeanCW ≥ 5mmHg was the best independent predictor of an elevated transmitral gradient at discharge. -Transmitral gradients by continuous-wave Doppler are quick, feasible in all patients and superior to direct peri-interventional assessment of MVA. A post-interventional transmitral gradient by continuous-wave Doppler of ≥ 5mmHg best predicted elevated transmitral gradients at discharge.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives It remains still unclear whether the use of modern noninvasive diagnostic modalities for evaluation of coronary artery disease (computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA), nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI)) were able to change the “diagnostic yield” of invasive coronary angiography (ICA). Methods The total number of ICA in the years 2000–2009 was related to the number of percutaneous interventions (PCIs) and we assessed whether there was a significant trend over time using time series analyses. We compared these data with the number of patients undergoing CTCA and nuclear MPI in the same time period. ResultsDuring the 10-year observational period, 23,397 ICA were performed. The proportion of purely diagnostic ICA (without PCI) remained stable over the whole study period (tau = −0.111, P = 0.721). A CTCA program was initiated in 2005 and 1,407 examinations were performed until 2009. Similarly, the number of nuclear MPI increased from 2,284 in the years 2000–2004 to 5,260 in the years 2005–2009 (P = 0.009). Conclusion Despite increasing availability, noninvasive testing modalities did not significantly alter the rate of purely diagnostic ICA, and still are underused as gatekeeper to ICA. Further effort is needed to optimize the use of noninvasive imaging modalities in the work-up process for coronary artery disease.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Interventional Cardiology
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    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the impact of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) on coronary plaque volume and composition analysis as well as on stenosis quantification in high definition coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). We included 50 plaques in 29 consecutive patients who were referred for the assessment of known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) with contrast-enhanced CCTA on a 64-slice high definition CT scanner (Discovery HD 750, GE Healthcare). CCTA scans were reconstructed with standard filtered back projection (FBP) with no ASIR (0 %) or with increasing contributions of ASIR, i.e. 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 % (no FBP). Plaque analysis (volume, components and stenosis degree) was performed using a previously validated automated software. Mean values for minimal diameter and minimal area as well as degree of stenosis did not change significantly using different ASIR reconstructions. There was virtually no impact of reconstruction algorithms on mean plaque volume or plaque composition (e.g. soft, intermediate and calcified component). However, with increasing ASIR contribution, the percentage of plaque volume component between 401 and 500 HU decreased significantly (p < 0.05). Modern image reconstruction algorithms such as ASIR, which has been developed for noise reduction in latest high resolution CCTA scans, can be used reliably without interfering with the plaque analysis and stenosis severity assessment.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · The international journal of cardiovascular imaging
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Assessment of coronary artery calcification is increasingly used for cardiovascular risk stratification. We evaluated the reliability of calcium-scoring results using a novel iterative reconstruction algorithm (ASIR) on a high-definition 64-slice CT scanner, as such data is lacking. Methods and results: In 50 consecutive patients Agatston scores, calcium mass and volume score were assessed. Comparisons were performed between groups using filtered back projection (FBP) and 20-100% ASIR algorithms. Calcium score was measured in the coronary arteries, signal and noise were measured in the aortic root and left ventricle. In comparison with FBP, use of 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% ASIR resulted in reduced image noise between groups (7.7%, 18.8%, 27.9%, 39.86%, and 48.56%, respectively; p<0.001) without difference in signal (p=0.60). With ASIR algorithms Agatston coronary calcium scoring significantly decreased compared with FBP algorithms (837.3 ± 130.3; 802.2 ± 124.9, 771.5 ± 120.7; 744.7 ± 116.8, 724.5 ± 114.2, and 709.2 ± 112.3 for 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% ASIR, respectively, p<0.001). Volumetric score decreased in a similar manner (p<0.001) while calcium mass remained unchanged. Mean effective radiation dose was 0.81 ± 0.08 mSv. Conclusion: ASIR results in image noise reduction. However, ASIR image reconstruction techniques for HDCT scans decrease Agatston coronary calcium scores. Thus, one needs to be aware of significant changes of the scoring results caused by different reconstruction methods.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · International journal of cardiology
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    Full-text · Conference Paper · Aug 2012
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to obtain quantitative values of flow and myocardial flow reserve (MFR) has been perceived as an important advantage of PET over conventional nuclear myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). We evaluated the added diagnostic value of MFR over MPI alone as assessed with (13)N-ammonia and PET/CT to predict angiographic coronary artery disease (CAD). Seventy-three patients underwent 1-d adenosine stress-rest (13)N-ammonia PET/CT MPI, and MFR was calculated. The added value of MFR as an adjunct to MPI for predicting CAD (luminal narrowing ≥ 50%) was evaluated using invasive coronary angiography as a standard of reference. Per patient, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of MPI for detecting significant CAD were 79%, 80%, 91%, 59%, and 79%, respectively. Adding a cutoff of less than 2.0 for global MFR to MPI findings improved the values to 96% (P < 0.005), 80%, 93%, 89% (P < 0.005), and 92% (P < 0.005), respectively. The quantification of MFR in (13)N-ammonia PET/CT MPI provides a substantial added diagnostic value for detection of CAD. Particularly in patients with normal MPI results, quantification of MFR helps to unmask clinically significant CAD.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: We have evaluated the impact of increased body mass on the quality of myocardial perfusion imaging using a latest-generation γ-camera with cadmium-zinc-telluride semiconductor detectors in patients with high (≥40 kg/m(2)) or very high (≥45 kg/m(2)) body mass index (BMI). We enrolled 81 patients, including 18 with no obesity (BMI < 30 kg/m(2)), 17 in World Health Organization obese class I (BMI, 30-34.9 kg/m(2)), 15 in class II (BMI, 35-39.9 kg/m(2)), and 31 in class III (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m(2)), including 15 with BMI ≥ 45 kg/m(2). Image quality was scored as poor (1), moderate (2), good (3), or excellent (4). Patients with BMI ≥ 45 kg/m(2) and nondiagnostic image quality (≤2) were rescanned after repositioning to better center the heart in the field of view. Receiver-operating-curve analysis was applied to determine the BMI cutoff required to obtain diagnostic image quality (≥3). Receiver-operating-curve analysis resulted in a cutoff BMI of 39 kg/m(2) (P < 0.001) for diagnostic image quality. In patients with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m(2), image quality was nondiagnostic in 81%; after CT-based attenuation correction this decreased to 55%. Repositioning further improved image quality. Rescanning on a conventional SPECT camera resulted in diagnostic image quality in all patients with BMI ≥ 45 kg/m(2). Patients with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m(2) should be scheduled for myocardial perfusion imaging on a conventional SPECT camera, as it is difficult to obtain diagnostic image quality on a cadmium-zinc-telluride camera.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to assess the long-term predictive value of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) with (13)N-ammonia positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with suspected myocardial perfusion abnormality. At present, outcome data on the predictive value of MPI in (13)N-ammonia PET exist only for rather small patient populations. METHODS: Cardiac perfusion was assessed in 943 consecutive patients using (13)N-ammonia PET, and follow-up was obtained in 698 (74%). 77 patients who underwent early revascularization (<60days) were excluded and 621 patients were assigned to normal versus abnormal perfusion for outcome analysis. Hard events (cardiac death and non-fatal myocardial infarction) and major adverse cardiac events (MACE; hard events, hospitalization for cardiac reasons and late revascularization) were investigated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Independent predictors for various cardiac events were identified using Cox proportional hazard regression analysis. RESULTS: During follow-up (5.7±2.5years), 275 patients had at least 1 cardiac event, including 102 cardiac deaths and 33 non-fatal myocardial infarction. Abnormal perfusion (n=469) was associated with a higher incidence of MACE (P<0.001) and hard events (P<0.001) throughout the 10-year follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac perfusion findings in (13)N-ammonia PET are strong predictors of long-term outcome.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · International journal of cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Low yield of invasive coronary angiography and unnecessary coronary interventions have been identified as key cost drivers in cardiology for evaluation of coronary artery disease (CAD). This has fuelled the search for noninvasive techniques providing comprehensive functional and anatomical information on coronary lesions. We have evaluated the impact of implementation of a novel hybrid cadmium-zinc-telluride (CZT)/64-slice CT camera into the daily clinical routine on downstream resource utilization. Sixty-two patients with known or suspected CAD were referred for same-day single-session hybrid evaluation with CZT myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) and coronary CT angiography (CCTA). Hybrid MPI/CCTA images from the integrated CZT/CT camera served for decision-making towards conservative versus invasive management. Based on the hybrid images patients were classified into those with and those without matched findings. Matched findings were defined as the combination of MPI defect with a stenosis by CCTA in the coronary artery subtending the respective territory. All patients with normal MPI and CCTA as well as those with isolated MPI or CCTA finding or combined but unmatched findings were categorized as "no match". All 23 patients with a matched finding underwent invasive coronary angiography and 21 (91%) were revascularized. Of the 39 patients with no match, 5 (13%, p < 0.001 vs matched) underwent catheterization and 3 (8%, p < 0.001 vs matched) were revascularized. Cardiac hybrid imaging in CAD evaluation has a profound impact on patient management and may contribute to optimal downstream resource utilization.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · European Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Ischemic coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major cause for morbidity and mortality resulting in a continuously increasing number of diagnostic interventions. We have validated a new hybrid imaging method using minimized radiation dose for rapid non-invasive prediction of invasive coronary angiography (CA) findings with regard to coronary lesion detection and revascularization. Forty patients referred for elective invasive coronary angiography (CA) due to suspected CAD were prospectively enrolled to undergo a low-dose CTCA with prospective ECG-triggering and a stress-only SPECT-MPI scan administering half of the standard low-dose stress (99m)Tc-tetrofosmin activity. The latter was acquired immediately after adenosine stress (omitting the standard 30-60 min waiting time). After fusing CTCA and SPECT-MPI decisions towards conservative management versus revascularization strategy based on hybrid images were compared to the decisions taken by the interventional operator in the catheterization laboratory based on CA. The latter served as standard of reference. Hybrid images yielded sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and accuracy of 100%, 96.0%, 100%, 93.8% and 97.5% for predicting coronary revascularization. The estimated mean effective radiation doses were significantly lower for hybrid imaging (4.7 ± 1.0 mSv) than for invasive CA (8.7 ± 4.2 mSv; P<0.001 vs. hybrid). Total non-invasive protocol time was below 60 min, comparing favourably to standard SPECT protocols. Rapid cardiac hybrid imaging allows accurate prediction of invasive CA findings and of treatment decision despite minimized radiation dose and protocol time.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · International journal of cardiology