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accuracy for detecting CAD. The advantages of SPECT include a higher
feasibility, higher sensitivity (especially for single-vessel disease
Nuno Cortez-Dias, MD, is a Cardiology Fellow at Santa
involving the left circumflex), and higher accuracy in the presence of
Maria University Hospital in Lisbon and a graduate
teaching assistant on the ‘Introduction to Clinical
extensive resting wall motion abnormalities. The advantages of SEcho
Medicine’ course at Lisbon University Medical School.
include higher specificity, wider availability, lower cost, and, most
Between 2003 and 2006 he served as a teaching assistant
importantly, its radiation-free nature.
Recently, the recommendations
in histology and embryology at the same institution. He is
also a student on the doctoral program for physicians at
of the European Association of Echocardiography defended that SEcho
the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Dr Cortez-Dias’s
compares favorably with SPECT, considering the integrated
main fields of interest are echocardiographic
All SEcho methods (treadmill exercise, bicycle
quantification of myocardial function in ischemic heart disease, myocardial
dyssynchrony, and resynchronization therapy. He is the author or co-author of 12 papers
exercise, high-dose dobutamine, and high-dose dipyridamole)
published in peer-reviewed international journals and over 100 presentations at major
have similar diagnostic and prognostic accuracy. The choice of one
scientific events. He graduated from Lisbon University Medical School in 2003.
over the other is strictly due to relative contraindications and the
ability of patients to exercise.
Among the available stressors
Fausto J Pinto, MD, PhD, FESC, FACC, FASE, FSCAI, is a
Professor of Cardiology at Lisbon University Medical
exercise is the most used, dobutamine the best test for viability, and
School and a Senior Consultant at the University Hospital
dipyridamole the safest pharmacological stressor that is the most of Santa Maria. He also serves as Director of the Lisbon
suitable for combined wall motion CFR assessment.
5 Cardiovascular Institute. Professor Pinto serves or has
served as President of the Association for Research and
Development of the Faculty of Medicine (2004–2010),
Conclusion Chairman of the Congress Programme Committee of the
In conclusion, SEcho has a very high diagnostic accuracy for detecting
European Society of Cardiology (2008–2010), President and
Founder of the European Association of Echocardiography (2002–2004), and Councillor
ischemia and viability. Its wide acceptance in clinical practice reflects its
of the European Society of Cardiology (2004– 2006). In addition, he serves on the Editorial
safety and prognostic value, which has also been proved in several large- Board of several international journals and is Editor in Chief of the Portuguese Journal of
scale multicenter trials. The recent introduction of other methods, such
Cardiology. Professor Pinto graduated from Lisbon University Medical School in 1984 and
completed his cardiology fellowship at Santa Maria University Hospital in Lisbon and
as myocardial deformation assessment and contrast echocardiography,
Stanford University Medical School, where he stayed for four years as a post-doctoral
have further expanded the use of SEcho as one of the main tools in the fellow and then as clinical attending in the echocardiography laboratory.
management of patients with ischemic heart disease. n
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