ASNC/ABC Case-based Session Examines Barriers to Diversity and Inclusion

On the opening day of ASNC2020's Main Event, two cases presented in the "Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Nuclear Cardiology – A Case-Based Ethics Session," set the stage for thoughtful discussion of barriers that too often stand in the way of timely, accurate diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. 

The joint ASNC/ABC session on diversity and inclusion featured two panels, each discussing a case presentation. 

The cases – presented by Cory Henderson, MD, of Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Brian C. Clark, MD, of Rush University Medical Center – told the stories of two African-American patients, one with cardiac amyloidosis and the other with CAD.

When session moderators Ola Akinboboye, MD, FASNC, and Andrew J. Einstein, MD, PhD, FASNC, asked panelists to comment on the cases, discussion turned to clues that were initially missed in each case and what those oversights reveal about opportunities to improve quality of care. 

In the discussion of the cardiac amyloidosis case, the faculty stressed the need to raise awareness of the disease across primary care, general cardiology, and specialty care. "If you don't think about this diagnosis, you'll never make it," one panelist said.

The panel discussing the coronary artery disease case addressed disparities in quality of care, even across communities within the same city. They shared concerns about under-application of specialty imaging as well as the need to improve the quality of interpretation and use of attenuation correction. The faculty also discussed concerns about patients' access to care and healthy food. "We need to start before we get to specialty care," emphasized a panelist. 

Following each discussion of the challenges, the panelists shared ideas for solutions, with suggestions ranging from effective screening for cardiac amyloidosis to employing deep learning to mitigate the low use of attenuation correction in some practices. Dr. Einstein offered a glimpse into an extensive quality metrics initiative that ASNC is developing to ensure all nuclear cardiologists have standardized practice assessment tools. 

ASNC was pleased to offer the "Diversity and Inclusion" session in collaboration with the Association of Black Cardiologists. If you missed this session, plan on watching it on ASNC2020 Meeting OnDemand, due out in mid-October.