The right path for your heart

Besides price, there are also other considerations that the informed patient should look out for when making decisions on the use of heart services

Published Fri, May 30, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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IN this Internet-connected society where information can be obtained at the click of a computer, there is an increasing trend for many services to be treated as a commodity where the main driver for decision-making is price. Healthcare services are not spared by this trend. Besides price, what else should the informed patient be looking out for in making a decision for the services best suited to his healthcare needs?

What you need to know about heart scans

This week Mr A, who is in his 50s, had chest pain for a few days and wanted to have a Computed Tomography scan of his heart arteries (also termed CT coronary angiography or CTCA) as he was concerned about the likelihood of heart artery disease. CTCA is a non-invasive outpatient procedure where an iodine-based contrast is injected into the arm veins and three-dimensional X-ray images of the heart arteries are taken within seconds. It is increasingly being used as an alternative to conventional coronary angiography (CCA) which involves the insertion of plastic tubes into the heart arteries to obtain images using X-rays. Over the last 10 years, the indications for the use of CTCA for the diagnosis of heart disease as recommended by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have expanded rapidly to cover most areas of heart artery disease.

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