Washington, Mar 5 : Researchers at Medical University of South Carolina have developed a novel imaging technique that would enable comprehensive diagnosis of heart disease based on a single computerized tomographic (CT) scan.
The new technique developed by the researchers can detect blocked arteries and narrowing of the blood vessels in the heart along with poor blood flow in the heart muscle.
The team included Balazs Ruzsics, MD, PhD; Eric Powers, MD, medical director of MUSC Heart and Vascular Center; and U. Joseph Schoepf, MD, director of CT Research and Development.
For the study, the researchers used Dual-Source CT scanner. They found that by adding two x-ray spectrums, each emitting varying degrees of energy like a series of x-rays could give a static image of the coronary arteries and the heart muscle and also facilitate mapping of blood distribution within the heart muscle, thus indicating the areas with decreased blood supply.
This could be accomplished with a single CT scan within one short breath-hold of approximately 15 seconds or less.
It also allows doctors to check for other diseases that may be lurking in the lungs or chest wall.
"This technique could be the long coveted "one-stop-shop" test that allows us to look at the heart vessels, heart function and heart blood flow with a single CT scan and within a single breath-hold" said Dr. Schoepf, the lead investigator of the study.
On the basis of their initial findings physicians have launched an intensive research project aimed at systemically comparing the new scanning technique to conventional methods for detecting decreased blood supply in the heart muscle.
The study appears in the journal Circulation.