New Guidelines on Interpretation and Reporting of CCTA

March 19, 2009

from Heartwire — a professional news service of WebMD

March 19, 2009 (Washington, DC) — New guidelines to aid in the interpretation and reporting of coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) studies have been published [1]. The guidelines, by Dr Gilbert L Raff (William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI) and colleagues, will appear in the March/April 2009 issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography.

Dr Daniel S Berman (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA), president of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT)--whose writing group developed the new recommendations--told heartwire : "By standardizing the methods of approaching the interpretation and then the reporting [of CCTA], we feel that we are going to help allow a clearer understanding of the implications of the studies.

"If we are going to talk about location of abnormalities; degrees of abnormalities; types of narrowing of the vessel and whether they are obstructive or nonobstructive; plaque and how much plaque there is, and what type of plaque, we need to regulate things.

"All of these terms can be used in various ways and become confusing to the practicing physician trying to interpret CCTA. By issuing these guidelines, we've established an approach that allows us to communicate with each other and thus with our referring physicians in a standardized way."

Berman says that accreditation bodies will ensure that, in the future, facilities demonstrate that they are interpreting and reporting CCTA studies in a way that conforms to these new guidelines.

These will be followed in the next issue of the journal by recommendations that deal with the performance and acquisition of CCTA, he says. The topics to be covered in that guidance will include the amount of contrast that should be used and approaches to radiation exposure, among other subjects--"all of the aspects that go into how a study is performed instead of having it be done in many, many different ways around the country," he explains.

"Part of the growth of any kind of new imaging field is to have these kinds of guidelines put out," Berman adds. "We hope all cardiologists and radiologists involved in the administration and interpretation of CCTA will strictly adhere to these guidelines to ensure its appropriate application and accurate interpretation across the board."

Berman has received research grants from GE and Astellas. Raff has received research support from Siemens, Bayer, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. Disclosures for the coauthors are listed in the paper.

  1. Raff GL, Abidov A, Achenbach S, et al. SCCT guidelines for the interpretation and reporting of coronary computed tomographic angiography. J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr 2009; DOI:10.1016/j.jcct.2009.01.001. Available at: http://www.scct.org/news/SCCTGuidelines.pdf. Abstract

The complete contents of Heartwire , a professional news service of WebMD, can be found at www.theheart.org, a Web site for cardiovascular healthcare professionals.

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