SCCT 2020 Highlights: The Shift in Prioritization of CCTA

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

– John F. Kennedy

Some advances have seemed imminent for years, but for one reason or another, they have continually remained just out of reach. The prioritization of coronary CTA in mainstream clinical care has long been an example of this.

However, during the 15th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), which took place virtually late last month, much of the evidence and many indicators highlighted how the clinical role of coronary CTA is rapidly changing and expanding.

One year ago, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) gave coronary CTA a Class I indication in updated guidelines, a decision that relied heavily on the 2015 PROMISE Trial findings of equivalency between coronary CTA and other non-invasive cardiac tests. The SCOT-HEART trial and the ISCHEMIA Trial further emphasized the significant clinical value of coronary CTA in decision making for stable chest pain patients. And now, as providers are looking for ways to provide high quality, efficient, and safe care to their patients during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we see how coronary CTA is being prioritized above other alternative diagnostic tests.

As the faculty of SCCT 2020 offered a comprehensive overview of these transitions within cardiovascular care, there were particular statements which stood out:

At SCCT 2020, we saw that as the current pandemic has collided with expanding clinical data and real-world experience around coronary CTA, alignment is increasingly shifting toward coronary CTA. Previous delays in the adoption of coronary CTA are being overcome as clinicians and administrators search for pathways and tools that will allow them to continue delivering the care patients deserve while also minimizing contact, PPE usage, and potentially unnecessary procedures.

As Dr. Jonathon Leipsic, a past president of the SCCT, stated, “This pandemic and the expectations of our patients and the Hippocratic oath really behoove us to ignore historical pathways and really focus on what makes most sense for our patients.”

This is an extraordinary time of change, and that came through clearly during the SCCT 2020 sessions.

All quotes are from recorded sessions of SCCT 2020, presented on July 17-18, 2020.

— A perspective from HeartFlow Chief Medical Officer, Campbell Rogers, MD
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Campbell Rogers, M.D., F.A.C.C.

Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Campbell brings a wealth of experience to HeartFlow, where he serves as the Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining HeartFlow, he was the Chief Scientific Officer and Global Head of Research and Development at Cordis Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for leading investments and research in cardiovascular devices. Prior to Cordis, he was Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-M.I.T. Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and Director of the Cardiac Catheterization and Experimental Cardiovascular Interventional Laboratories at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He served as Principal Investigator for numerous interventional cardiology device, diagnostic, and pharmacology trials, is the author of numerous journal articles, chapters, and books in the area of coronary artery and other cardiovascular diseases, and was the recipient of research grant awards from the NIH and AHA.

He received his A.B. from Harvard College and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.