Many Cases of Serious Heart Disease Missed due to old Systems
Posted Feb 03 2010 8:16am
Dual Source Definition CT is required for detecting cardiovascular disease
The Medical Editor of the Telegraph in June 2009 reported: “Hundreds of cases of serious heart disease are being missed every year by the NHS, which is putting thousands more through needless tests which waste around £40 million a year.” The article went on to say, “The current tests used to identify people at risk of a major heart attack – because their blood vessels are dangerously narrowed – are inadequate, costly and even risky.”
The report was based on information from Prof Lahiri of the Wellington Hospital who said: “Patients with chest pain are referred for initial tests and then sent for an angiogram which involves injecting dye into the veins and then taking a series of x-rays to find narrowing.”
So what exactly is the problem with the usual heart screen?
40% of the angiograms show nothing, meaning the waste of a £1,000 procedure.
1 in 10 patients with chest pain perform well on other tests due to false negatives and are therefore discharged.
The bottom line according to Prof Lahiri is, “It is not uncommon for the NHS to turn patients away and them drop dead of a heart attack.”
So what’s the solution?
Dual Source Definition CT – this imaging configuration, according to Prof Lahiri provides the greatest information on the state of the coronary arteries, unlike an angiogram it is non-invasive and at £400 a screen is considerably more cost-effective as well as accurate.