OBJECTIVES: Limited data exist on how noninvasive testing options compare for evaluating patients with suspected stable coronary artery disease. In this study, we have performed a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing the use of coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) with usual care.
METHODS: We systematically searched databases for randomized clinical trials comparing coronary CTA with usual care for the evaluation of stable chest pain with follow-up for cardiovascular outcomes. The primary outcomes were myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality. We identified 4 randomized clinical trials, including a total of 7403 patients undergoing coronary CTA and 7414 patients undergoing usual care with various functional testing approaches.
RESULTS: When compared with usual care, the use of coronary CTA was associated with a significant reduction in the annual rate of myocardial infarction (rate ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.49-0.98; P=0.038), but no difference was found in all-cause mortality. There was a trend toward more invasive coronary angiographies among patients undergoing coronary CTA (odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-1.84; P=0.09) and higher use of coronary revascularizations (odds ratio, 1.77; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-2.75). Significant heterogeneity for invasive coronary angiography and revascularization was noted, which was attributable to the Scottish Computed Tomography of the HEART (SCOT-HEART) study. We found no difference in the rate of admission for cardiac chest pain (rate ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-1.54).
CONCLUSIONS: In comparison to usual care, an initial investigation of suspected stable coronary artery disease using coronary CTA resulted in a significant reduction in myocardial infarction, an increased incidence of coronary revascularization, and no effect in all-cause mortality. Future studies should further define whether the potential reduction in myocardial infarction identified justifies the increased resource utilization associated with coronary CTA.