The Toshiba Aquilion 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner can accurately sort out which people with chest pain need or don't need an invasive procedure such as cardiac angioplasty or bypass surgery to restore blood flow to the heart, according to an international study. The CORE 320 study is the first prospective, multicenter study to examine the diagnostic accuracy of high resolution CT for assessing blockages in blood vessels and determining which of those blockages may be preventing the heart from getting adequate blood flow. The 381 patients who completed the study had traditional SPECT tests and invasive angiography. They also had two types of tests with a non-invasive 320-detector CT scanner. In the first CT test - CTA - the scanner was used to see the anatomy of vessels to assess whether and where there were blockages. Then in a second CT test - CTP - patients were given a vasodilator to increase blood flow to the heart.
The Aquilion 320-detector CT scanner allowed the researchers to see the anatomy of the blockages as well as determine whether the blockages were causing a lack of perfusion to the heart and were able to correctly identify the patients who needed revascularization within 30 days of their evaluation. The researchers say the two tests combined – CTA and CTP – still produce less radiation than a scan with the 64-detector in widespread use today. The researchers will continue to follow the patients in the study for up to five years, looking for any heart-related events such as heart attacks, as well as hospital admissions, procedures or surgeries.