The WellSpan York Hospital cardiology team, led by Dr. Mahdi Veillet-Chowdhury, Dr. Ghaith Sharaf Dabbagh, Dr. Brian Schuler and Dr. Anwar Chahal, recently published an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) comparing the use of cardiac CT scans and the more invasive Transesophageal Echocardiograms (TEE) to rule out blood clots in patients with irregular heartbeats, or arrhythmias, prior to cardioversion.
A total of 161 patients were included in the study. The 4D-CT suite was used to rule out a blood clot in the left atrial appendage in the heart. The patient then received the direct current cardioversion to restore their heart to its normal rhythm in the adjacent catheterization lab within two hours of the CT scan to minimize patient hand-offs or transfers.
The team demonstrated that cardiac CT scans are a safe alternative to the Transesophageal Echocardiograms (TEE) to rule out blood clots in the heart prior to cardioversion reducing the need to undergo a more invasive procedure and anesthesia. The results from this study will change the way this condition is treated in patients with irregular heartbeats.