, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 473-478
Date: 10 Apr 2013

SPECT vs CT: CT is not the first line test for the diagnosis and prognosis of stable coronary artery disease

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Cardiovascular diseases have a profound impact on global health, with more people dying annually from cardiovascular diseases than from any other cause. In 2008, an estimated 7.3 million deaths globally were attributed to coronary artery disease (CAD) and this trend is expected to continue.1 Cardiac imaging has become an essential component in the diagnosis and management of heart disease and with the increased prevalence of heart disease, there has been a subsequent increase in the utilization of advanced cardiac imaging.

In the United States, Medicare Part B data reveals that utilization increased steadily until it peaked in 2006 with the subsequent decline likely attributable, at least in part, to strategies employed to control costs (Figure 1).2 The utilization of cardiac-computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has also increased from 0.31 per 1,000 Medicare patients in 2000 to 1.21 in 2005.3 As single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) became mainstream in the l ...