Researchers from Germany have discovered a novel, less invasive imaging technique for visualization of coronary veins. This technique, called ECG-gated cardiac modified discrete cosine transform, or MDCT, is associated with very few complications . It is further believed to result in an improved diagnostic quality and treatment.
A comparison of the new technique with conventional angiography revealed a superior performance. It is perceived as a boon "for individuals undergoing surgical procedures on the heart and particularly the coronary veins," by Aachen University Hospital researchers.
An adequate or rather a complete knowledge of the cardiac anatomy is a prerequisite for optimal planning of the proposed treatment. Moreover, the variability of the coronary veins with respect to the number, caliber and course makes the clinical assessment rather difficult. This difficulty can be surpassed with the new technique is used. The results of the study can be found in the American Journal of Roentgenology.
"MDCT angiography is a reliable alternative to invasive conventional coronary angiography, and should be used to evaluate the coronary veins prior to pacemaker lead placement, and other procedures. MDCT angiography improves the quality of diagnosis and treatment for the patient by providing better planning of the procedure prior to surgery such as pacemaker placement," said lead author Dr. Georg Muhlenbruch.