News Release

January 31, 2011

Contact: Chris DeFrancesco, 860-679-3914

Cardiac Imaging Study Shows PROMISE

FARMINGTON, CONN. – The Pat and Jim Calhoun Calhoun Cardiology Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center has been chosen to be a test site for a groundbreaking clinical trial. The National Institutes of Health is studying the use of cardiac imaging to diagnose problems associated with chest pain, the most common clinical cardiology problem.

The PROspective Multicenter Imaging Study for the Evaluation of Chest Pain, or PROMISE study, is the first randomized imaging trial in the history of cardiology. It seeks to enroll 10,000 patients at more than 200 sites throughout the U.S. The UConn Health Center was the first site in Connecticut to join this study, with Dr. Erick Avelar, the Calhoun Cardiology Center’s director of noninvasive cardiac imaging, serving as principal investigator.

“Computed tomography of the coronary artery, also known as a cardiac CT, is hypothesized to yield better results than functional testing such as an EKG or stress test,” Avelar says. ”PROMISE is a randomized trial. This means that for those enrolled in this study the determination about whether they undergo either a functional test or a cardiac CT imaging test will be determined by chance. This is similar to a coin flip. In this study the chance of being assigned to either group is 50:50.”

The targeted study population is chest pain patients with low to intermediate probability of significant obstructive coronary artery disease, including men 55 and older and women 65 and older. Men as young as 45 and women as young as 50 also may be eligible depending on their individual risk factors.

“Coronary CT has costs, exposes patients to radiation, and is not the current standard of care. For these reasons, these studies are generally not covered by insurance,” Avelar says. “For this study, which assesses the value of this information in relation to the risks and costs, the NIH is covering the cost of the cardiac CT.”

More information about the PROMISE study is available at 860-679-3666. More information about the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center is available at

Caption: Dr. Erick Avelar of the Calhoun Cardiology Center is leading the UConn Health Center’s participation in a first-of-its-kind national clinical trial studying cardiac imaging.

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