CT Insider

Dear CT Insider,

The accurate and speedy assessment of chest pain is critically important in healthcare today, and the consensus view is that CT coronary artery calcification (CAC) has a valuable role to play. In its latest guidelines, the influential U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends using CT CAC as a first-line diagnostic tool in certain stable chest pain patient groups.

Staff at the Chest Pain Clinic in Harefield Hospital, U.K., has considerable experience in this field, and they presented their findings from the past six years at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2011 annual congress in Paris. To find out more, visit our CT Digital Community.

More than 4,000 patients have been enrolled at the 10 participating centers since the German cardiac CT registry was established in 2009, and useful information about CT angiography is now starting to emerge from the project. For our report from the ESC's 2011 meeting, click here.

The drug barons are getting increasingly clever about smuggling illegal substances, but CT offers great potential in the battle to catch the villains. Researchers from Finland are developing a low-dose CT protocol that may eventually be used to screen suspected traffickers. Click here to read more.

In postmortems, the use of extended-scale CT is showing promise when visual identification alone is not possible due to disfiguration or decomposition of the body. Our associate editor, Frances Rylands-Monk, interviewed specialists from the Institute of Legal Medicine in Zurich about this topic, and you can read her article here.

Iterative reconstruction techniques continue to be fine-tuned, and we've published two reports about this emerging area. Preliminary evidence suggests that raw data-based iterative reconstruction can reduce radiation dose by more than 50% in body CT angiography studies without deterioration in image quality, and you can click here for our first article. In the second article, French researchers explain how they are using a new reconstruction algorithm based on statistical iterative reconstruction methods.

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