Diagnostic strategies for women with suspected coronary artery disease

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2001 Apr;15(3):39-53. doi: 10.1097/00005082-200104000-00004.


The clinician evaluating a woman with symptoms potentially indicative of coronary heart disease faces the challenge of choosing the appropriate diagnostic test. The use of noninvasive testing in women has been controversial due to a perception of diminished accuracy, limited female representation, and technical limitations that compromise efficacy. Recent meta-analyses and large observational series report marked improvements in accuracy for women undergoing exercise treadmill, echocardiography, and nuclear testing. Electron beam computed tomography is a relatively new technique, and the body of evidence is still developing. An adequate body of evidence supports the use of noninvasive testing for intermediate risk, symptomatic women and may result in improved diagnostic and therapeutic decision making.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Ultrasonography