Noninvasive coronary angiography with the use of multislice computed tomography (CT) scanners is feasible with high sensitivity and negative predictive value; however, the radiation exposure associated with this technique is rather high. We evaluated coronary angiography using whole-heart 320-row CT, which avoids exposure-intensive overscanning and overranging.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 30 consecutive patients with suspected coronary artery disease referred for clinically indicated conventional coronary angiography (CCA) were included in this prospective intention-to-diagnose study. CT was performed with the use of up to 320 simultaneous detector rows before same-day CCA, which, together with quantitative analysis, served as the reference standard. The per-patient sensitivity and specificity for CT compared with CCA were 100% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72 to 100) and 94% (95% CI, 73 to 100), respectively. Per-vessel versus per-segment sensitivity and specificity were 89% (95% CI, 62 to 98) and 96% (95% CI, 90 to 99) versus 78% (95% CI, 56 to 91) and 98% (95% CI, 96 to 99), respectively. Interobserver agreement between the 2 readers was significantly better for CCA (97% of 121 coronary arteries) than for CT (90%; P=0.04). Percent diameter stenosis determined with the use of CT showed good correlation with CCA (P<0.001, R=0.81) without significant underestimation or overestimation (-3.1+/-24.4%; P=0.08). Intraindividual comparison of CT with CCA revealed a significantly smaller effective radiation dose (median, 4.2 versus 8.5 mSv; P<0.05) and amount of contrast agent required (median, 80 versus 111 mL; P<0.001) for 320-row CT. The majority of patients (87%) indicated that they would prefer CT over CCA for future diagnostic imaging (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: CT with the use of emerging technology has the potential to significantly reduce the radiation dose and amount of contrast agent required compared with CCA while maintaining high diagnostic accuracy.