Study examines efficacy of optical imaging in heart attack prediction | BMI, waist circumference linked to HF, mortality risk in type 2 diabetes | Overnight radiology duty reduces recall, improves patient flow
December 4, 2019
ASNC SmartBrief
News for nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals
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Study examines efficacy of optical imaging in heart attack prediction
A study found that an improved optical coherence tomography imaging method may help cardiologists predict future heart attacks by distinguishing life-threatening coronary plaques from less-dangerous ones. Researchers evaluated coronary atherosclerotic plaque properties in 30 patients with coronary artery disease and found that "intravascular polarimetry may open new avenues for studying plaque composition and detecting high-risk patients," researcher Brett Bouma said.
Health Imaging online (11/26) 
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BMI, waist circumference linked to HF, mortality risk in type 2 diabetes
A study published in the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications found that an increase of one standard deviation unit in body mass index and waist circumference was tied to higher congestive heart failure and all-cause mortality risk in adults with type 2 diabetes. The researchers studied data from 10,251 participants in the ACCORD trial at average follow-up of 3.7 years.
Healio (free registration)/Endocrine Today (12/2) 
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Overnight radiology duty reduces recall, improves patient flow
There was an associated reduction in imaging-related patient recalls for those in need of acute care, as well as reduced costs and improved patient flow, a year after an emergency department implemented overnight radiology staff coverage, despite an increase in imaging conducted during the overnight hours, according to a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting. "When there is a radiologist present during those overnight hours, you are getting the interpretation much sooner, so you have fewer recalls happening because the patients are still at the hospital," said Dr. Karen Lee, RSNA session moderator.
MedPage Today (free registration) (12/1) 
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Complimentary on Demand CME Webinars
CHOLECYSTOKININ-CHOLESCINTIGRAPHY (CCK-CS) IN CHRONIC ABDOMINAL PAIN: Case-Based Review of Practice Pearls. For cardiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiologic technologists, administrators; through an educational grant from Bracco Diagnostics Inc. Register here.
Medical Focus
Research explores link between breast arterial calcification, HF
Researchers examined the records of 278 women who underwent both a mammogram and coronary calcium test within a 12-month period and found that those with breast arterial calcification were 2.2 times more likely to develop heart failure, and women with heart failure were older had stiffer hearts and experienced more symptoms but had normal ejection fraction. Mammography reports should include information about breast artery calcium and its association with cardiovascular diseases, researchers reported at the American Heart Association conference.
HealthDay News/American Heart Association (12/2) 
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Obesity may influence efficacy of antiarrhythmic drugs
A study published in JAMA Cardiology found that patients with obesity were less responsive to antiarrhythmic drugs for atrial fibrillation than patients without obesity. In a registry study of data from 311 patients, the researchers found that drug class and sex also appear to play a role in efficacy, and the findings "may have important implications for the management of AF in patients with obesity."
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (12/2) 
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Regulatory & Policy
ACA enrollment moves closer to 2018 levels
The latest figures from the CMS show that nearly 2.4 million people selected Affordable Care Act plans through the federal exchange in the first four weeks of open enrollment this year, down about 2% from the same period last year. The number of people who chose ACA plans in the fourth week reached 703,556, compared with 500,437 the year before, helping narrow the year-over-year gap in enrollment.
Healthcare Finance (12/2) 
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Six days & counting: New ASNC webinar will explain 2020 Medicare reimbursement changes
At 4 p.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 10, ASNC will host a webinar designed to walk cardiologists and their administrative staff through the nuclear cardiology and PET coding changes in the 2020 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The 60-minute webinar will explain the Medicare payment changes for the new PET codes family; detail changes that practices must make by Jan. 1, 2020; and present clinical scenarios appropriate for the new codes. The webinar is a complimentary benefit of ASNC membership; the fee for non-members is $225. Register now.
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President's Page: Dr. Beanlands on the future of nuclear cardiology
In a special farewell President's Page appearing in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, Rob S.B. Beanlands, MD, MASNC, shares highlights from 2019 and a glimpse of ASNC's forthcoming strategic plan. For nuclear cardiology, he says, "The future is now!" What's more, he promises, the field is in very good hands: "ASNC and its staff will be there for its members for years to come, setting the course and transforming nuclear cardiology." Read more in JNC.
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It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee,
track and field athlete, Olympic medal winner
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