On the Inappropriateness of Noninvasive Multidetector Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography to Trigger Coronary Revascularization: A Comparison with Invasive Angiography

OBJECTIVES: Our purpose was to evaluate the appropriateness of multidetector computed tomography angiography (MDCTA) as an anatomical standard for decision making in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Background: Although correlative studies between MDCTA and coronary angiography (CA) show good agreement, MDCTA visualizes plaque burden and calcifications well before luminal dimensions are encroached.

METHODS: Pressure-derived fractional flow reserve (FFR) was obtained in 81 patients (116 vessels) who underwent both CA and MDCTA. Segments were visually graded for stenosis severity as: G0 = normal, G1 = nonobstructive (<50% diameter reduction), and G2 = obstructive (> or =50% diameter reduction).

RESULTS: Concordance between segmental severity scores by MDCTA and CA was good (k = 0.74; 95% confidence interval: 0.56 to 0.92). Diagnostic performance of MDCTA for detection of functionally significant stenosis based on FFR was low (sensitivity 79%; specificity 64%; positive likelihood ratio 2.2; negative likelihood ratio 0.3). Revascularization was considered appropriate in the presence of reduced FFR (< or =0.75). Decision making based on MDCTA guidance would result in revascularization in the absence of ischemia in 22% of patients (18 of 81) and inappropriate deferral in 7% (6 of 81), while revascularization in the absence of ischemia would be 16% (13 of 81) and inappropriate deferral 12% (10 of 81) with decisions guided by CA. Combined evaluation of stenosis severity using both anatomy (with either CA or MDCTA) and function (with FFR) yields the highest proportion of appropriate decisions: 90% and 91%, respectively (p = 0.0001 vs. CA only, p = 0.0001 vs. MDCTA only).

CONCLUSIONS: Similar to CA, anatomical assessment of coronary stenosis severity by MDCTA does not reliably predict its functional significance. 

PMID: 19539260

Posted in Computed Tomography and tagged , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Compare to the post from September 6:

    Characterization of complex coronary artery stenosis morphology by coronary computed tomographic angiography.
    Wertman BM, Cheng VY, Kar S, Gransar H, Berg RA, Naik H, Makkar R, Friedman JD, Schapira JN, Berman DS.
    JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2009; 2(8):950-8.

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