Coronary CTA is an innovative technique that enables physicians to quickly determine a patient’s risk of coronary disease. A coronary CTA exam yields a 3-dimensional image of the moving heart muscle and the vessels that supply the heart muscle.
In particular, a coronary CTA allows the physician to see into the lumen of the coronary arteries to examine the presence of plaque or other fatty deposits that may require immediate attention such as a cardiac catheterization. Consequently, this technique is able to quickly determine that a patient’s chest pain is not stemming from the coronary arteries and can be discharged home safely.
Types of Patients Who Benefit from this Procedure
Coronary CTA exams are particularly useful for determining the extent of coronary disease for patients with varying histories. Obviously, patients with several risk factors and symptoms can benefit greatly from this technique. However, coronary CTA is also useful for individuals with atypical symptoms, such as chest pain without physical exertion, and individuals with few or zero risk factors who still develop chest pain.
In addition, individuals who have had an inconclusive or negative nuclear medicine stress test and who still complain of chest pain, as well as patients with suspected congenital cardiac abnormalities, can also benefit greatly from this technique.
Why Hospitals Should Invest In Coronary CTA
Hospital emergency rooms are flooded on a daily basis with patients complaining of chest discomfort. The hospital has a responsibility to treat every patient with the gold standard of care and ensure the safety of every patient that walks through the door.
A high percentage of patients who enter the emergency room with chest discomfort get admitted to the hospital for a 24-hour observation stay. That stay involves a battery of tests to make sure the chest pain is not cardiac related and, if it is, the proper steps are taken to adequately resolve the issues. This battery of tests costs the hospital thousands of dollars per patient.
When hospitals invest in coronary CTA, this exam can be performed while the patient is still in the emergency department. Physicians can quickly make a ruling on coronary disease, and often avoid a costly, unnecessary admission.
How Physicians Can Benefit from Cardiac CTA
Cardiologists have busy schedules, including office hours, hospital rounds, monitoring stress tests and performing interventional cardiac catheterizations. Often a cardiologist performs a cardiac catheterization, and the results reveal normal coronary arteries for the patients.
While this is a good outcome for patients, the cardiologist may see this as a waste of time because another test such as a nuclear medicine stress test or a coronary CTA could have been used to determine there was no blockage in the coronary arteries.
Due to the extremely high resolution and great sensitivity and specificity, the use of coronary CTA can greatly reduce the number of cardiac catheterizations that yield normal coronary arteries, meaning the cardiologist can spend more time with patients who have legitimate cardiac problems.
How SteleRAD Can Help Your Facility Reap These Benefits
The SteleRAD group of radiologists employs several highly skilled physicians who have undergone intense training in order to provide the highest quality interpretations for coronary CTA exams. Dr. Richard Spira is an expert in the interpretation of coronary CTA exams and is proud to have achieved the title of Level 3 instructor for coronary CTA.
In addition to Dr. Spira, several other physicians including Dr. David Ring, Dr. George Koshy, Dr. Charles Cole, Dr. Joel Erickson, and Dr. Jon Guben have all undergone the rigorous didactic and clinical training process in order to effectively evaluate and interpret coronary CTA exams. Because of the experience and expertise of this group of physicians, involving SteleRAD for the interpretation of coronary CTA exams can greatly improve the financial bottom line for healthcare facilities, as well as allow your highly trained cardiologists to focus more time on critical cardiac patients.