Upstart CT angiography eclipses cardiac MRI's rising star

September 1, 2005

"Nobody thought about doing CT angiography. It just wasn't on the radar screen, although a few proponents said, 'Don't forget about us; we're working on interesting things here in the desert.'

"Nobody thought about doing CT angiography. It just wasn't on the radar screen, although a few proponents said, 'Don't forget about us; we're working on interesting things here in the desert.'

"We thought MR was the future. But the CT guys did one thing really well. They did an angiogram with an injection of a contrast agent, and the technology became much, much better.

"Radiologists and cardiologists basically do what they've always done, but they push a different button. And new software has it all come out in about two minutes.

"That's pretty easy compared to MR, where I have to take a course to learn cardiac MR because of the rules set down by the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (which I helped write).

"Why should anyone do all that when they already know how to take an x-ray picture? All they do is push a button and get the same kind of picture. That's one reason why CT angiography has a real advantage and why it is now ahead of MR angiography."

-Samuel A. Wickline, M.D., director of cardiovascular MRI and molecular imaging at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, speaking at the molecular imaging users meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine meeting in May.