November 28, 2008

Study: Heart scans don’t always benefit

High-tech heart scans fail in some cases to detect artery blockages and at other times can misidentify blockages that don't exist, a study found.

The study provoking debate among cardiologists indicates further that the more invasive, standard testing procedure is not ready to be replaced by the newer technology, researchers say.

Researchers said in this week's New England Journal of Medicine that supported computer tomography or CT scans can be beneficial in identifying needed treatment, such as open heart surgery.

However, while some cardiologists see the scans as improving patient care others attack them as a potentially unnecessary technology driving up healthcare costs, The Wall Street Journal said.

The industry-funded study, led by doctors at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, examined 291 men and women, all over age 40, and suspected of having heart disease. Fifty-six percent had heart disease.