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Date of publication: March 2015
Publication type: News item
In a nutshell: A trial funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme will examine whether giving cardiac CT scans to patients when they arrive at hospital with chest pain is a cost effective way to improve treatment, save lives and cut unnecessary hospital admissions.
In the UK, around 700,000 patients attend hospital emergency departments each year with chest pains, with many being admitted to hospital for further tests.
Further testing often involves patients being given an angiogram, which looks at the blood flow through the heart to identify any obstructions that could pose a heart attack risk. The angiogram accurately identifies coronary artery obstruction, but involves passing a catheter into the heart and therefore carries significant risks.
The trial will use cardiac CT scans to test patients upon admission to hospital, enabling doctors to look at the blood vessels within the heart and detect abnormalities without the risks associated with an angiogram. Cardiac CT scans are also around an eighth of the cost of an angiogram.
Length of publication: 1 webpage
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Acknowledgement: National Institute for Healthcare Research