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March 26, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • ASNC collaborates on dosing guidelines for cardiac imaging
    A group of cardiology and imaging societies, including ASNC, has issued guidelines for limiting radiation exposure in cardiac imaging procedures while collecting high-quality images. Authors of the guidance said the goal was not to eliminate radiation exposure, but rather to balance risks and benefits. The document exemplifies the modern focus on patient-centered care, according to a blog post by past ASNC President Dr. Leslee Shaw, who calls patient education on the topic "vital." (free registration) (3/22), MedPage Today (free registration) (3/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Blood test can predict heart attack, research suggests
    A new study aims to address "the greatest unmet need" in cardiology, according to Dr. Eric Topol, lead author of a study in Science Translational Medicine that explores the use of a blood test to predict heart attacks. The method involves tracking endothelial cells in the bloodstream, which are much more abundant in patients whose artery walls are damaged. The researchers compared blood samples and determined that endothelial cells were not only present in higher numbers but also had distinctive characteristics in heart attack patients compared with healthy individuals. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/21), blog (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Focus 
  • PET/CT helps detect sign of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
    A study published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine found that maximal wall thickness measured through PET/CT can be a strong indicator of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Maximal wall thickness was linked to impaired peak myocardial blood flow and myocardial flow reserve. The researchers said they did not find a link between left ventricular outflow tract gradients and myocardial blood flow. The results need to be validated in larger trials, the researchers said. (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Impaired coronary flow reserve seen in patients set for stress tests
    A study presented at a cardiology meeting found that men and women set to undergo rest or stress Rb-82 PET imaging to assess possible coronary artery disease had similar levels of impaired coronary flow reserve, 44% and 48%, respectively, even though they had normal coronary artery calcification and myocardial perfusion imaging results. "This means that many patients who come to the clinic with symptoms but have two normal tests could still have a cardiac reason for their symptoms," said researcher Dr. Venkatesh L. Murthy from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. (3/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Regulatory & Policy 
  • House votes for repeal of Medicare payment board
    The House voted 223-181 to repeal Medicare's Independent Payment Advisory Board, created under the health care law to cut costs if they rise above specified levels and if Congress takes no action. The Senate is not expected to take action on the repeal effort. Reuters (3/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts: Incentives could work nearly as well as individual mandate
    A Supreme Court ruling striking down the health care law's individual mandate but allowing the rest of the law to stand might not cause the chaos some are predicting, experts say. Offering incentives such as limited enrollment periods and rules that prevent people who choose not to carry health insurance from receiving the law's benefits for five years could prod enough healthy people to buy insurance to make the system work, say Princeton University sociologist Paul Starr and Tom Miller of the American Enterprise Institute. National Public Radio (text and audio)/Shots blog (3/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASNC News 
  • February 2011 Think Tank Generates Report with Radiation Reduction Action Plan
    ASNC joined seven other organizations to develop goals and an action plan designed to enhance patient safety and appropriate radiation dosing. ASNC past-president Dr. Manuel Cerqueira served on the writing committee in addition to attending the think tank with ASNC members Drs. Tim Bateman and Andrew Einstein. The report will be published in the JNC and is available online. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Journal of Nuclear Cardiology

I've never had a humble opinion. If you've got an opinion, why be humble about it?"
--Joan Baez,
American singer

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