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SCCT issues new guidance on cardiovascular CT training

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 10, 2020
Cardiology CT X-Ray
The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography has published a new guideline that documents training for both cardiology and radiology trainees in cardiovascular CT.

The guidance instructs program directors in the design of a training curriculum that is meant to equip independent practitioners (level II) and advanced practitioners (level III) with the same level of competence.

“The rapid growth and established benefit of a CCT approach in multiple clinical domains require programs to adopt a comprehensive training curriculum to meet the growing need for well-trained independent and advanced practitioners in both cardiology and radiology,” said Dr. Andrew Choi, co-chair and lead author of the guideline, in a statement. “This guideline allows cardiovascular medicine to expand high-quality CCT in the United States and around the world.”
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Curricula created under the guideline will provide users with the same technical understanding and overall case volumes in coronary imaging, structural heart disease and congenital heart disease. The recommended case volumes will serve as a minimum basis to evaluate competency, particularly among independent practitioner graduates who are diverse in their training backgrounds, local volume and supervisor expertise.

The guideline builds on the 2015 SCCT Level I Curriculum Guideline and encourages the adoption of the updated training curriculum recommendations as a supplement to current societal statements that include the American College of Radiology (ACR), American College of Cardiology COCATS 4, and other global training documents.

The core elements of the guidance will remain foundational for independent and advanced practitioner competency, while future updates will be issued through both traditional and emerging digital publication formats. The guideline is not meant to replace existing COCATS and ACR standpoints but instead add to the information on the most recent advancements on practices for cardiovascular CT.

“I anticipate the need for training of new cardiac CT experts to continue and increase substantially in the coming decade as the tremendous proven value that this modality provides to our patients is more and more recognized,” said former SCCT president Dr. Suhny Abbara, chief of cardiothoracic imaging and director of the cardiothoracic imaging fellowship program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “It, therefore, is more important than ever before to define and standardize the training requirements for users, basic and advanced practitioners of cardiac CT, independent of whether they are radiologists or cardiologists.”

The guideline was published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography and co-published in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging and JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

The SCCT did not respond for comment.

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