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Minerva Pneumologica 2013 December;52(4):157-61

language: English

Coronary calcification and COPD

Parikh S., Budoff M. J.

LA Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor University of California Los Angeles, Torrance, CA, USA


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Accurate and efficient evaluation of acute chest pain remains clinically challenging because traditional diagnostic modalities have many limitations. Recent improvement in non-invasive imaging technologies could potentially improve both diagnostic efficiency and clinical outcomes of patients with acute chest pain while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations. However, there is still controversy regarding much of the evidence for these technologies. Patients presenting to the emergency department are sometimes admitted for overnight stays. Computed tomography (CT) has a role in ruling out all the 3 life threatening causes: myocardial infarction, aortic dissection and pulmonary embolism and preventing the need for an overnight stay-popularly called a triple rule out scan. With millions of patients undergoing non-contrast lung CT for early lung cancer detection or lung findings in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the ability to see both atherosclerosis (number one cause of death) and lung cancer (number two cause of death) concurrently with one scan has great appeal. Shared risk factors of coronary artery disease and COPD include age, smoking history and exposure to air pollution and passive smoke.

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