EVINCI (EValuation of INtegrated Cardiac Imaging) is a European multi-centre, multi-modality cardiac imaging project funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme Number HEALTH-F2-2009-222915. The Study was initially designed within the ESC Working Group on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT and includes 20 partners in nine European countries. Specifically, 17 clinical centres (three in Spain, five in Italy, two in Germany, two in England and one each in Paris, Zurich, Leiden, Turku and Warsaw) are involved.
Dr. Danilo Neglia, Head of the PET and PET-CT Unit at the Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, in Pisa, Italy, together with Dr. Juhani Knuuti and the support of the Working Group on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, is the project coordinator.
EVINCI major goal is to provide objective evidence of the clinical role of multimodality imaging for the early diagnosis, complete characterization and targeting of treatment in patients with suspected Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Among the noninvasive imaging modalities, Multi-slice CT angiography is used to define coronary anatomy, although it provides only morphologic information on plaque presence/extent.
Patients participating to the EVINCI Study have been followed and treated by their referring clinicians according to current good clinical practice and European guidelines. The major end point of EVINCI is to assess the ability of non-invasive multimodality imaging to recognize in the single patient not only if coronary disease is present but if it mainly involves the major coronary arteries or the microvessels and most importantly if it causes ischemia and hence should be aggressively treated.
Other relevant outputs would be the standardization of non-invasive imaging procedures throughout Europe and the development of new informatics tools for advanced cardiac imaging.
ARTreat targets at providing a patient-specific computational model of the cardiovascular system, used to improve the quality of prediction for the atherosclerosis progression, and uses coronary Multi-slice CT angiography as imaging modality to detect specific features related to plaque initiation and progression. Since ARTreat will provide a three-level patient model describing the 3D arterial tree anatomy, the patient-specific blood flow and blood particle dynamics and the biological processes that lead to the creation and progression of atherosclerotic plaques, the proof of validity of this platform in the evaluation of atherosclerotic plaque burden may shift the clinical information of coronary CT angiography from morphological assessment towards a functional tool. This approach can potentially help to improve patient management and reduce invasive procedures and health costs can also help to improve patient management.
Thus, ARTreat and EVINCI projects share a common objective, namely to develop an advanced clinical and imaging reporting and integrated decision-making tool in cardiology. For both projects, an informatics platform will be developed to synthetically and clearly present the integrated clinical and imaging diagnostic profile of individual patients.