U.K. watchdog NICE approves new-generation CT scanners

The U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued positive appraisals for four new-generation cardiac CT scanners for use with patients suspected of or having coronary artery disease.

The guidance statement, produced as part of NICE's diagnostic assessment program, recommends Siemens Healthcare's Somatom Definition Flash, Toshiba Medical Systems' Aquillon One, GE Healthcare's Discovery 750HD, and Philips Healthcare's Brilliance iCT as options for first-line imaging of the coronary arteries in people with suspected stable coronary artery disease. It also recommends the cardiac CT scanners for first-line evaluation of disease progression to establish the need for revascularization in patients with known coronary artery disease in whom imaging with earlier generation CT scanners had been difficult.

Dr. Carole Longson, director of NICE's Health Technology Evaluation Centre, said that not only was a noninvasive cardiac diagnostic test more appealing to a patient, but that NICE determined that the cardiac CT exams performed with new-generation scanners were more cost-effective than angiography.

The diagnostics guidance for all CT scanners for cardiac imaging may be accessed on the NICE website.

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