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Type and Title of Submission


Title:

CT coronary angiography

Description:

In patients presenting with stable chest pain with low to intermediate predicted risk of coronary artery disease, CT coronary angiography leads to more accurate detection of coronary artery disease, fewer second-line investigations and more definitive rule out of coronary artery disease with lower cost to reach diagnosis compared with exercise tolerance testing.

Does the submission relate to the general implementation of all NICE guidance?

No

Does the submission relate to the implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?

Yes

Full title of NICE guidance:

CG95 - Chest pain of recent onset

Is the submission industry-sponsored in any way?

No


Description of submission


Aims and objectives

NICE guideline 95 proposes using CT coronary angiography (CTCA) in patients at low predicted risk of coronary artery disease only. We designed this audit to compare the performance of CT coronary angiography versus exercise tolerance testing (ETT) in patients presenting with stable chest pain and low AND intermediate predicted risk of coronary artery disease.

Context

In most hospitals, exercise tolerance testing (ETT) has been and remains the preferred first-line investigation for patients presenting with stable chest pain. NICE clinical guideline 95 proposes using CT coronary angiography (CTCA) as first-line investigation in patients at low predicted risk only. Our experience of CTCA suggests that it performs well as a first-line investigation in patients with a wide range of predicted risk. The majority of patients presenting with stable chest pain ultimately have coronary artery disease excluded and CTCA is known to have excellent negative predictive value. ETT is known to result in a large number of equivocal outcomes leading to multiple second-line investigations. If CTCA could outperform ETT in patients with a wide range of predicted risk then it could significantly reduce the number of investigations required and the total cost burden on NHS chest pain services.

Methods

We compared two cohorts of patients pre-and post introduction of CT coronary angiography (CTCA) in our hospital presenting with stable chest pain to the Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic. All patients were risk assessed and those with low-intermediate predicted risk were included in the audit. Those with very low or high risk were excluded. The first cohort was investigated with exercise tolerance testing (ETT) and the second with CTCA as first-line investigation. We compared the performance of each test in terms of ability to exclude coronary artery disease, requirement for second-line investigations and total cost per patient to reach diagnosis.

Results and evaluation

CT coronary angiography (CTCA) outperformed exercise tolerance testing (ETT) for each of the comparative measures described above (see supporting document for full results). It excluded coronary artery disease more effectively (97.1% vs. 72.9%) and led to fewer second-line investigations (8.8% vs. 23.5%). As a result, the total cost per patient to reach diagnosis was significantly lower (-20.3%).

Key learning points

Exercise tolerance testing (ETT) has been widely shown to be a sub-optimal first-line investigation in patients presenting with stable chest pain. CT coronary angiography (CTCA) is a highly effective first-line investigation in those patients assessed to be at low-intermediate predicted risk of coronary artery disease. However, it is much less effective in patients with extensive coronary artery disease (due to coronary artery calcification degrading image quality) and alternative investigations such as functional testing or invasive coronary angiography are more appropriate. Clinical application of CTCA therefore relies on accurate risk assessment. If used appropriately it can lead to rapid rule-out of coronary artery disease in patients with non-cardiac chest pain, fewer second-line investigation and overall reduced cost to reach diagnosis.

View the supporting material

Contact Details

Name:Toby Rogers
Job Title:Cardiology Registrar
Organisation:University Hospital Lewisham
Address:Lewisham
Town:London
Postcode:SE13 6LH
Phone:07967371305
Email:toby.rogers@doctors.org.uk

 

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This page was last updated: 30 January 2012

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.