The reliable noninvasive assessment of coronary artery disease would constitute an important step forward in clinical cardiology. The aim of the New Age pilot trial was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of multislice computed tomography (MSCT) in determining coronary lesions. As a gold standard for in vivo plaque detection, intracoronary ultrasound (ICUS) was used. Forty plaques were detected by ICUS in 15 target vessels (LAD, n = 8; RCA, n = 7) in patients assigned for ICUS-guided PTCA. Preinterventional MSCT was performed in all patients and the results were compared to ICUS with regard to lesion detection and quantification. According to ICUS results, the 40 plaques were divided into three groups: group I, mild lesions < 50% (n = 14; 44.36% +/- 5.77%); group II, intermediate lesions 50%-75% (n = 12; 59.18% +/- 9.39%); and group III, severe lesions > 75% (n = 14; 91.47% +/- 3.68%). All MSCT scans showed sufficient image quality for analysis. Thirty of 40 (75%) plaques were detected by MSCT in a first blinded session. After unblinding the ICUS results, the remaining 10 (25%) plaques could be identified. Lesion severity was classified correctly in 34 of 40 (85%) plaques. Plaque calcifications were diagnosed correctly in 16 of 19 (84.2%) plaques. Quantification of vessel size revealed a good correlation to the ICUS results (r(2) 0.68; P = 0.004). Noninvasive MSCT angiography showed good diagnostic accuracy with regard to lesion detection and quantification of vessel size. The overall good image quality, makes this new technology a promising modality, which might become an alternative diagnostic approach in patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Cathet Cardiovasc Intervent 2001;53:352-358.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.