Clinical perspective of coronary computed tomographic angiography in diagnosis of coronary artery disease
Hyuk-Jae Chang ; Namsik Chung
Circulation Journal, Vol.75(2) : 246~252, 2011
Since a 4-detector row coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) was launched in 1998, CCTA has experienced rapid improvement of imaging qualities with the ongoing evolution of computed tomography (CT) technology. The diagnostic accuracy of CCTA to detect coronary artery stenosis is well established, whereas improvements are still needed to reduce the overestimation of coronary artery disease (CAD) and assess plaque composition. CCTA has been used to evaluate CAD in various clinical settings. For example, CCTA could be an efficient initial triage tool at emergency departments for patients with acute chest pain with low-to-intermediate risk because of its high negative predictive value. In patients with suspected CAD, CCTA could be a cost-effective alternative to myocardial perfusion imaging and exercise electrocardiogram for the initial coronary evaluation of patients with intermediate pre-test likelihood suspected CAD. However, in asymptomatic populations, there is a lack of studies that show an improved prognostic power of CCTA over other modalities. Therefore, the clinical use of CCTA to detect CAD for purposes of risk stratification in asymptomatic individuals should be discouraged. As CT technology evolves, CCTA will provide better quality coronary imaging and non-coronary information with lower radiation exposure. Future studies should cover these ongoing technical improvements and evaluate the prognostic power of CCTA in various clinical settings of CAD in large, well-designed, randomized trials.