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December 14, 2005

Electron-Beam Computed Tomography for Coronary CalciumA Useful Test to Screen for Coronary Heart Disease?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.

JAMA. 2005;294(22):2897-2901. doi:10.1001/jama.294.22.2897

Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) uses x-rays generated by electron-beam irradiation of a tungsten target to identify and quantify coronary artery calcium (CAC).1 Initial studies focused on the use of EBCT for risk stratification or diagnosis among individuals with clinical symptoms of coronary heart disease (CHD).13 However, more recent articles,414 as well as marketing by for-profit companies,15,16 have focused on using EBCT for screening; that is, for detection of CHD in asymptomatic individuals.

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