BACKGROUND - Noninvasive assessment of coronary atherosclerotic plaque and significant stenosis by coronary multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) may improve early and accurate triage of patients presenting with acute chest pain to the emergency department. METHODS AND RESULTS - We conducted a blinded, prospective study in patients presenting with acute chest pain to the emergency department between May and July 2005 who were admitted to the hospital to rule out acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with no ischemic ECG changes and negative initial biomarkers. Contrast-enhanced 64-slice MDCT coronary angiography was performed immediately before admission, and data sets were evaluated for the presence of coronary atherosclerotic plaque and significant coronary artery stenosis. All providers were blinded to MDCT results. An expert panel, blinded to the MDCT data, determined the presence or absence of ACS on the basis of all data accrued during the index hospitalization and 5-month follow-up. Among 103 consecutive patients (40% female; mean age, 54±12 years), 14 patients had ACS. Both the absence of significant coronary artery stenosis (73 of 103 patients) and nonsignificant coronary atherosclerotic plaque (41 of 103 patients) accurately predicted the absence of ACS (negative predictive values, 100%). Multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrated that adding the extent of plaque significantly improved the initial models containing only traditional risk factors or clinical estimates of the probability of ACS (c statistic, 0.73 to 0.89 and 0.61 to 0.86, respectively). CONCLUSIONS - Noninvasive assessment of coronary artery disease by MDCT has good performance characteristics for ruling out ACS in subjects presenting with possible myocardial ischemia to the emergency department and may be useful for improving early triage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)