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Highly accurate coronary angiography with submillimetre, 16 slice computed tomography
  1. G J Morgan-Hughes1,
  2. C A Roobottom2,
  3. P E Owens1,
  4. A J Marshall1
  1. 1South West Cardiothoracic Centre, Plymouth NHS Trust, Derriford, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Plymouth NHS Trust
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Gareth J Morgan-Hughes
    Cardiology Department, SWCC, Plymouth NHS Trust, Derriford, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK;


Objective: To assess submillimetre coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) in comparison with invasive quantitative coronary angiography as the gold standard and to examine the effect of significant coronary artery calcification (CAC), which is known to impede lumen visualisation, on the accuracy of the examination.

Methods: After invasive coronary angiography, 58 patients underwent coronary imaging with a GE Lightspeed 16 computed tomography (CT) system. CAC was quantified after an ECG triggered acquisition with a low tube current. Coronary CTA was performed with retrospective ECG gating and a 16 × 0.63 mm collimation and was reconstructed with an effective 65–250 ms temporal resolution. All 13 major coronary artery segments were evaluated for the presence of ⩾ 50% stenosis, and compared with the gold standard.

Results: One patient moved and could not be evaluated. All segments (except occluded segments) were evaluated for 57 patients. Overall the accuracy of coronary CTA for detection of ⩾ 50% stenosis was: sensitivity 83%, specificity 97%, positive predictive value 80%, and negative predictive value 97%. The number of diseased coronary arteries was correctly diagnosed in 34 of 38 (89%) patients overall. Altogether 21 of 57 (37%) patients had a CAC score ⩾ 400, which was predefined as representing significant CAC. Excluding these patients from the analysis improved the accuracy of coronary CTA to a sensitivity of 89%, specificity 98%, positive predictive value 79%, and negative predictive value 99%.

Conclusions: Non-invasive coronary angiography with submillimetre CT is reliable and accurate. It appears that a subgroup of patients may be selected based on CAC score in whom the investigation has even higher accuracy. Coronary CTA has reached the stage where it should be considered for a clinical role. Further research is required to define this role.

  • CAC, coronary artery calcification
  • CT, computed tomography
  • CTA, computed tomographic angiography
  • computed tomography
  • multislice CT
  • non-invasive coronary angiography

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