Health Facts – Heart Scans versus Nuclear Stress Test
I came across some interesting articles this month about the differences of getting a heart scan versus nuclear stress testing.
The American Heart Association (AHA) completed a study in March of 2015. The study compared Heart CT scans against the nuclear stress test as a method to test for heart disease. Their study included 10,003 patients who visited 193 health facilities. These patients had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. Half were randomly selected to receive a Heart CT scan and the others underwent a stress test.
Below is a list of coronary risk factors defined by the AHA (source):
- high LDL cholesterol
- low HDL cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- family history
- being post-menopausal for women
- being older than 45 for men
- Obesity may also be a risk factor.
According to the 2-year study, these were the results found
“After their initial non-invasive test, about 10 percent of study participants underwent at least one cardiac catheterization procedure, a more invasive procedure in which an interventional cardiologist threads a catheter into the heart through an artery to assess narrowing in the arteries and, if needed, open the arteries with a balloon or stent. The rates of patients undergoing catheterization that failed to identify substantial narrowing were significantly higher in the patients receiving functional testing, at 4.3 percent, compared to 3.4 percent in the patients who had received a CT scan.” — American Heart Association – 3/14/15 (source)
That’s an amazing outcome!
An even more alluring result of this study, at 3 months, AHA stated patients receiving a heart scan received significantly lower radiation exposure than patients given a nuclear stress test!
In a publication by John Hopkins Medicine, studying a smaller group of participants in October 2015, conclusively came to the same result.
noninvasive CT scans of the heart’s vessels are far better at spotting clogged arteries that can trigger a heart attack than the commonly prescribed exercise stress that most patients with chest pain undergo. (source)
I wanted to share this information with you for many reasons:
- ViaScan takes pride in informing people of how they can manage his/her health and the more you know, the more proactive you’ll be making efforts to maintain good health
- Summer is the most active season of the year; therefore, the likelihood of heart complications is more prevalent.
- Heart disease can impact individuals at any physical-activity level
- You’ll be spending more time with family and friends as you start planning events and vacations. This is an opportunity to share with them the advantages of talking with their doctor on if they are a candidate of getting a heart scan. In addition, continue to accumulate rewards for your future scan through our Family and Friends Referral program
ViaScan has been performing an advanced form of CT scanning called EBCT for over 15 years. It is faster and more accurate at scanning moving organs such as heart, arteries and blood vessels than the more commonly used spiral CT scan. All heart scans are reviewed by a board-certified radiologist. A free consultation and review of your results are provided the same day.