Chest pain can be very worrying as the immediate natural concern is that it might be warning signs of an imminent heart attack. The quality of cardiac screening varies widely. So what exactly are the latest recommended screens and what are the latest state-of-the-art technologies?
The technology in this area is changing rapidly and so far The Cardiac Imaging Centre (CIRC) is only centre in London with the latest scanners that are currently acknowledged to be the state-of-the-art requirements for efficient, accurate and early diagnosis of heart disease.
For those people interested in the technology, the top scanner is called:
Dual-source ultra-fast CT scanner (Definition), combined with the hybrid CT+Gamma Camera (SPECT-CT) (Symbia T6), 4D- Echocardiography.
This is recognised as the latest state-of-the-art digital and remote telemetry system for exercise testing and 24 hour ECG monitoring.
Leading UK Cardiologist, Prof Avajit Lahiri says: “It is important to obtain an accurate and rapid diagnosis of coronary artery disease at the outset and exclude non-cardiac chest pain, since there may be serious consequences with a missed diagnosis. Also it’s vital to understand that the symptoms of heart disease are different in men and women. Women generally have heart attacks later in life (>55yrs) and their symptoms may be masked and be very different from a typical attack in a man. Further, the traditional method of ECG can be inconclusive in women, hence the need to do more effective diagnostic tests to verify if heart disease is present. Similar problems are faced in diabetic patients, where the disease may remain silent for years”.
Chest pains are often the first telltale signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD), however, in many instances the differential diagnosis of chest pain is elusive, leading to a large number of ‘false’ diagnosis, which is dangerous and creates a very significant impact on resources.