Cardiac imaging to investigate suspected cardiac pain in the post-treadmill era
Gosling, Oliver E.
Bellenger, Nick G.
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Symptomatic cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of hospital admissions in the UK; along with emergency attendances, over 100,000 patients are investigated using treadmill testing via rapid access chest pain clinics each year. With the introduction of new technologies, clinicians have a wide choice of investigations including nuclear perfusion scanning, dobutamine stress echocardiography, cardiac computed tomography and stress cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. These imaging modalities have their strengths and weaknesses, which depend not only on the pre-test likelihood of significant coronary artery disease but also the clinical characteristics of the patient. This article will review the differing imaging modalities, the patient experience, accuracy, prognostic data and future prospects for cardiac computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.