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Heart Disease

Diagnosing and treating patients with heart disease

By Campbell Rogers, M.D., F.A.C.C., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer , HeartFlow

Heart disease is the leading cause of death—every 37 seconds someone in the U.S. dies from cardiovascular disease. Despite the incidence and seriousness of this disease, diagnostic strategies have not changed much over the past 30 years. Most patients with suspected disease typically undergo stress testing, including treadmill stress tests, an ultrasound of the heart or a nuclear imaging study. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated how inaccurate and inefficient these tests are, failing to identify critical disease on some, leading to either more tests or sending patients who don’t have significant disease for invasive evaluation in the cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab). A recent study found that invasive treatment, guided by stress testing, did not improve rates of death or heart attack compared to medical therapy alone.

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