Cardiac Imaging Radiology Insider

Dear Cardiac Imaging Insider,

At the American Heart Association meeting in November, it was literally the subject of a debate: Which of the two leading noninvasive imaging methods, CT or MRI, will "win" the heart?

It's an interesting question that allows for an excellent overview of cardiac imaging's many permutations and the strengths and weaknesses of the competing modalities. But it's also a false dichotomy. There's undoubtedly plenty of room in the heart for both modalities, even if researchers tend to approach their work with an enthusiasm for one over the other.

That's one point to take away from this month's Cardiac Insider Exclusive, which looks at the first published head-to-head comparison of MDCT and MRI for detecting coronary artery stenosis.

As the researchers in this study observed, the choice between MDCT and MRI will probably depend on local equipment and operators, along with individual patient characteristics such as claustrophobia, contrast allergies, or the presence of extensive calcification that hampers CT evaluation.

The study's use of four-slice CT seems almost quaint, given that a number of studies presented at the latest RSNA meeting looked at the performance of 16-slice CT in the coronary arteries -- along with some 40-slice and 64-slice CT evaluations. But the fact is that our torrid pace of innovation in imaging should be matched by more published analyses like this one.

In case you haven't visited our Cardiac Imaging Digital Community since the last newsletter, be sure to check out the many stories we've run since then, including our coverage from the AHA meeting.

As always, I look forward to hearing your feedback and story ideas. Best wishes as well for the holiday season and a happy 2005.

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