JAMA Study Targets Radiation Reduction

About the Study

Gilbert L. Raff, MD, helped pioneer this study, the first to utilize multi-facilities, to prove that Cardiac CT radiation can be reduced by more than 50%, dramatically lowering exposure risk for patients.

The radiation dose for a diagnostic scan of the heart and blood vessels was cut on average by more than half for almost 5,000 patients through a Michigan quality improvement project with no effect on image quality. Doctors and hospitals statewide have helped protect patients from the potential risks of radiation exposure as a result. Read the full press release here.

Coronary Artery Disease remains the most frequent cause of death and disability in the developed world and rates are increasing among developing nations. As the population at risk has increased, national health care systems are under financial pressure to deliver cost-effective diagnosis and risk stratification of symptomatic patients suspected of having coronary ischemia.

Noninvasive multislice cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has emerged since 2000 as a new diagnostic test with the potential to efficiently address this challenge. Multiple studies of the accuracy of CCTA compared with invasive coronary angiography in thousands of patients have documented sensitivities and negative predictive values. This suggests that CCTA may definitively exclude the diagnosis of coronary artery disease in a substantial proportion of appropriately selected patients, allowing scarce health care resources to be focused on those patients truly requiring longterm medical therapy or expensive invasive procedures.

Dr. Raff Interview

Why is this study important?

What are the benefits to patients?

What are the benefits to health care professionals and facilities?

Gilbert L. Raff, MD, answers these questions and more regarding this quality improvement initiative funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Click here to watch the videos now.


The findings of this study demonstrate that consistent application of currently available radiation dose-reduction techniques associated with a marked reduction in the radiation dose received by patients undergoing CCTA in a statewide registry, without impairment of diagnostic image quality.

This accomplishment provides support for the use of collaborative consortium-based quality improvement strategies for improving the quality of medical care. Additional multicenterstudies are needed to assess the potential for further dose reductions from the use of technical advances such as prospectively triggered scanning and single-heartbeat acquisitions.

Donor Support

Beaumont is a world leader in cardiac CT imaging through the Ministrelli Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging. Learn how the Beaumont Foundation helps Beaumont Hospitals continue its commitment to innovation and excellence.