Computed tomography coronary imaging as a gatekeeper for invasive coronary angiography in patients with newly diagnosed heart failure of unknown aetiology

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Abstract

Aims

To evaluate the accuracy of cardiac computed tomography (CT) in distinguishing CAD and non-CAD heart failure (HF) and its effectiveness as a gatekeeper for invasive coronary angiography (ICA).

Methods and results

We prospectively included 93 symptomatic patients with newly diagnosed HF of unknown aetiology (59 men; mean age 53 ± 13) and EF <45%, and/or fractional shortening <25%, and/or end-diastolic LV diameter >60 mm (men) or >55 mm (women). In all patients, the CT calcium score (CTCS) was determined. CTCS = 0 excluded CAD HF. Additional CT coronary angiography (CTCA) was performed if CTCS >0. ICA was used as the gold standard for distinguishing between CAD and non-CAD HF in patients with >20% luminal diameter narrowing on CTCA. CAD HF was defined as >50% luminal diameter narrowing in either (i) the left main coronary artery or proximal left anterior descending coronary artery or (ii) in multiple coronary arteries. Diagnostic accuracy and follow-up data (20 ± 16 months) were collected for all patients. CTCS = 0 ruled out CAD HF in 43 patients (46%). The CT algorithm had 100% sensitivity, 95% specificity, 67% positive predictive value, and 100% negative predictive value for detecting CAD HF. Patients with CTCS = 0 or non-CAD HF on CTCA had no coronary events during follow-up, and ICA could have been safely avoided in 76 out of 93 patients (82%).

Conclusion

In patients with HF of unknown aetiology, cardiac CT combining CTCS and CTCA has high accuracy for detecting CAD HF and can be used effectively as a gatekeeper for ICA.

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