Cardiac computed tomography (CT) represents an alternative diagnostic strategy for women with suspected coronary artery disease, with potential benefits in terms of effectiveness and cost-efficiency.Methods and Results—
The CRESCENT trial (Calcium Imaging and Selective CT Angiography in Comparison to Functional Testing for Suspected Coronary Artery Disease) prospectively randomized 350 patients with stable angina (55% women; aged 55±10 years), mostly with an intermediate coronary artery disease probability, between cardiac CT and functional testing. The tiered cardiac CT protocol included a calcium scan followed by CT angiography if the Agatston calcium score was between 1 and 400. Patients with test-specific contraindications were not excluded from study participation. Sex differences were studied as a prespecified subanalysis. Enrolled women presented more frequently with atypical chest pain and had a lower pretest probability of coronary artery disease compared with men. Independently of these differences, cardiac CT led in both sexes to a fast final diagnosis when compared with functional testing, although the effect was larger in women (P interaction=0.01). The reduced need for further testing after CT, compared with functional testing, was most evident in women (P interaction=0.009). However, no sex interaction was observed with respect to changes in angina and quality of life, cumulative diagnostic costs, and applied radiation dose (all P interactions≥0.097).Conclusions—
Cardiac CT is more efficient in women than in men in terms of time to reach the final diagnosis and downstream testing. However, overall clinical outcome showed no significant difference between women and men after 1 year.Clinical Trial Registration—
URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01393028.