Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) imaging, a technological advance over traditional CT, is a promising possible alternative to cardiac catheterization for evaluating patients with chest pain in the emergency department (ED). In comparison with traditional CT, MDCT offers increased spatial and temporal resolution that allows reliable visualization of the coronary arteries. In addition, a "triple scan," which includes evaluation for pulmonary embolism and thoracic aortic dissection, can be incorporated into a single study. This test will enable emergency physicians to rapidly evaluate patients for life-threatening illnesses and may allow safer and earlier discharges of many patients with chest pain in comparison with a traditional rule-out protocol. In this article, we will highlight the technological advances of MDCT imaging, review the literature on coronary angiography via MDCT, and discuss the future of this technology as it relates to the ED.
Recommended CitationLimkakeng, Alexander T.; Halpern, Ethan; and Takakuwa, Kevin M., "Sixty-four-slice multidetector computed tomography: the future of ED cardiac care" (2006). Department of Radiology Faculty Papers. Paper 2.