Usefulness of multislice computed tomography for detecting obstructive coronary artery disease


      The latest generation of multislice spiral computed tomography (MSCT) scanners is capable of noninvasive coronary angiography. We evaluated its diagnostic accuracy to detect stenotic coronary artery disease (CAD). In 53 patients with suspected CAD, contrast-enhanced MSCT and conventional angiography were performed. The CT data were acquired within a single breathhold, and isocardiophasic slices were reconstructed by means of retrospective electrocardiographic gating. Coronary segments of ≥2 mm in diameter, measured by quantitative angiography, were evaluated. In 70% of the 358 available segments, image quality was regarded as adequate for assessment. The overall sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values to detect ≥50% stenotic lesions in the assessable segments were 82% (42 of 51 lesions), 93% (285 of 307 nonstenotic segments), and 66% and 97%, respectively, regarding conventional quantitative angiography as the gold standard. Proximal segments were assessable in 92%, and distal segments and side branches in 71% and 50%, respectively. Including the undetected lesions in nonassessable segments, overall sensitivity decreased to 61% but remained 82% for lesions in proximal coronary segments. MSCT correctly predicted absent, single, or multiple lesions in 55% of patients. Thus, despite potentially high image quality, current MSCT protocols offer only reasonable diagnostic accuracy in an unselected patient group with a high prevalence of CAD.
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