The study also examined several techniques that are used to reduce radiation exposure when doing a cardiac CTA.
Researchers found that, while these techniques were associated with a significantly reduced radiation dose, not all centers were using these methods consistently. Importantly, these radiation reducing techniques did not affect the quality of the image obtained.
"One objective of this type of study [is] to raise awareness and make sure that [we] use all the means that we have available to reduce radiation dose," Gerber said. "The techniques available today are better than those studied in 2007. We [now] have revolutionary new technology that will probably reduce radiation dose from an [average] of 12 mSv to an [average] of 3 mSv."
Dr. Armin Zadeh, associate director of Cardiac CT at the Johns Hopkins University agreed. "The take-home message is that if you use cardiac CT responsibly, you can achieve good results with radiation exposures, which are very reasonable compared to other imaging tests."