OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) in relation to prognosis in symptomatic patients without coronary artery calcification (CAC) undergoing coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). The frequency and clinical relevance of CAD in patients without CAC are unclear.
METHODS: We identified 10,037 symptomatic patients without CAD who underwent concomitant CCTA and CAC scoring. CAD was assessed as
RESULTS: Mean age was 57 years, 56% were men, and 51% had a CAC score of 0. Among patients with a CAC score of 0, 84% had no CAD, 13% had nonobstructive stenosis, and 3.5% had â‰¥50% stenosis (1.4% had â‰¥70% stenosis) on CCTA. A CAC score >0 had a sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive values for stenosis â‰¥50% of 89%, 59%, 96%, and 29%, respectively. During a median of 2.1 years, there was no difference in mortality among patients with a CAC score of 0 irrespective of obstructive CAD. Among 8,907 patients with follow-up for the composite endpoint, 3.9% with a CAC score of 0 and â‰¥50% stenosis experienced an event (hazard ratio: 5.7; 95% confidence interval: 2.5 to 13.1; p < 0.001) compared with 0.8% of patients with a CAC score of 0 and no obstructive CAD. Receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis demonstrated that the CAC score did not add incremental prognostic information compared with CAD extent on CCTA for the composite endpoint (CCTA area under the curve = 0.825; CAC + CCTA area under the curve = 0.826; p = 0.84).
CONCLUSIONS: In symptomatic patients with a CAC score of 0, obstructive CAD is possible and is associated with increased cardiovascular events. CAC scoring did not add incremental prognostic information to CCTA.