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The clinical utility of new cardiac imaging modalities in Australasian clinical practice

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Cardiac imaging is a rapidly evolving field, with improvements in the diagnostic capabilities of non-invasive cardiac assessment. In this article, we seek to introduce family physicians to the two main emerging technologies in cardiac imaging: computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) to evaluate chest symptoms consistent with ischaemia and exclude coronary artery disease; and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging for evaluating cardiac morphology, function and presence of scar. These modalities are now in routine clinical practice for cardiologists in Australia and New Zealand. We provide a practical summary of the indications, clinical utility and limitations of these modern techniques to help familiarise clinicians with the use of these modalities in day-to-day practice. The clinical vignettes presented are cases that may be encountered in clinical practice. We searched the PubMed database to identify original papers and review articles from 2008 to 2016, as well as specialist society publications and guidelines (Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, and Australian and New Zealand Working Group for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance), to formulate an evidence-based overview of new cardiac imaging techniques, as applied to clinical practice.

Part 1: Computed tomography coronary angiography for clinicians

CTCA is a non-invasive…