Comprehensive Cardiac CT With Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Versus Functional Testing in Suspected Coronary Artery Disease
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OBJECTIVES: This study sought to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, and safety of a tiered, comprehensive cardiac computed tomography (CT) protocol in comparison with functional testing. BACKGROUND: Although CT angiography accurately rules out coronary artery disease (CAD), incorporation of CT myocardial perfusion imaging as part of a tiered diagnostic approach could improve the clinical value and efficiency of cardiac CT in the diagnostic work-up of patients with angina pectoris. METHODS: Between July 2013 and November 2015, 268 patients (mean age 58 years; 49% female) with stable angina (mean pre-test probability 54%) were prospectively randomized between cardiac CT and standard guideline-directed functional testing (95% exercise electrocardiography). The tiered cardiac CT protocol included a calcium scan, followed by CT angiography if calcium was detected. Patients with ≥50% stenosis on CT angiography underwent CT myocardial perfusion imaging. RESULTS: By 6 months, the primary endpoint, the rate of invasive coronary angiograms without a European Society of Cardiology class I indication for revascularization, was lower in the CT group than in the functional testing group (2 of 130 [1.5%] vs. 10 of 138 [7.2%]; p = 0.035), whereas the proportion of invasive angiograms with a revascularization indication was higher (88% vs. 50%; p = 0.017). The median duration until the final diagnosis was 0 (0 of 0) days in the CT group and 0 (0 of 17) in the functional testing group (p < 0.001). Overall, 13% of patients randomized to CT required further testing, compared with 37% in the functional testing group (p < 0.001). The adverse event rate was similar (3% vs. 3%; p = 1.000), although the median cumulative radiation dose was higher for the CT group (3.1 mSv [interquartile range: 1.6 to 7.8] vs. 0 mSv [interquartile range: 0.0 to 7.1]; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with suspected stable CAD, a tiered cardiac CT protocol with dynamic perfusion imaging offers a fast and efficient alternative to functional testing. (Comprehensive Cardiac CT Versus Exercise Testing in Suspected Coronary Artery Disease 2 [CRESCENT2]; NCT02291484).
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