Cardiac CT or cath? Berlin's Charité launches study

2014 02 14 11 10 09 760 2014 02 14 Charite discharge study

Scientists and researchers from 28 institutions in 20 European countries gathered this week at Berlin's Charité Hospital to launch DISCHARGE, a five-year study of individuals with chest pain to investigate when and for whom a cardiac CT has more benefits than cardiac catheterization, according to the German Radiological Society (DRG).

The study, which received a grant of 6 million euros from the EU, will examine more than 3,500 patients across Europe, including a random group who will receive cardiac catheterization, and another who will undergo cardiac CT, DRG said.

Researchers from 20 European countries gather at Berlin's Charité Hospital on 12 February to launch the DISCHARGE research project aimed at weighing the benefits of cardiac catheterization versus coronary CT angiography. Image courtesy of the German Radiological Society (DRG).Researchers from 20 European countries gather at Berlin's Charité Hospital on 12 February to launch the DISCHARGE research project aimed at weighing the benefits of cardiac catheterization versus coronary CT angiography. Image courtesy of the German Radiological Society (DRG).
Researchers from 20 European countries gather at Berlin's Charité Hospital on 12 February to launch the DISCHARGE research project aimed at weighing the benefits of cardiac catheterization versus coronary CT angiography. Image courtesy of the German Radiological Society (DRG).

Close to 3.5 million cardiac catheterization procedures are performed annually in Europe, however, more than half of them may be able to undergo noninvasive CT angiography without further treatment or detriment to their health outcomes.

Project coordinator Dr. Marc Dewey from the Institute of Radiology at Charité will work with his study partners to determine whether CT can reliably exclude the diagnosis of coronary heart disease -- and several studies show that it can. Performing fewer catheterizations would yield two advantages for the patient, who would be able to undergo less risky noninvasive procedures, and do so at less cost than catheterization and as an outpatient, DRG reported.

Patients who have chest pain and are willing to undergo cardiac catheterization may register for the study with Charité's department of radiology at +49 30 450 627264.

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