A long-term prognostic value of coronary CT angiography in suspected coronary artery disease

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2012 Jul;5(7):690-701. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2012.03.009.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the long-term prognostic role of multidetector computed tomography coronary angiography (CTA) in patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD).

Background: Use of CTA is increasing in patients with suspected CAD. Although there is a large body of data supporting the prognostic role of CTA for major adverse cardiac events in the intermediate term, its long-term prognostic role in patients with suspected CAD is not well studied.

Methods: Between February 2005 and March 2008, 1,304 consecutive patients were prospectively studied with CTA for detecting the presence and assessing extent of CAD (disease extension and coronary plaque scores). Patients were classified according to the presence of normal coronaries and nonobstructive (<50%) and obstructive (>50%) coronary lesions. The composite rates of hard cardiac events (cardiac deaths and nonfatal myocardial infarctions) and all cardiac events (including late revascularization) were the endpoints of the study.

Results: Seventy patients were excluded because their CTA data were uninterpretable. Of the remaining 1,234 patients, clinical follow-up (mean 52 ± 22 months) was obtained for 1,196 (97%). A total of 475 events were recorded, with 136 hard events (18 cardiac deaths and 118 nonfatal myocardial infarctions) and 123 late revascularizations. A total of 216 patients with early elective revascularizations were excluded from the survival analysis. Significant independent predictors of events in multivariate analysis were multivessel disease and left main CAD. Cumulative event-free survival was 100% for hard and all events in patients with normal coronary arteries, 88% for hard events and 72% for all events in patients with nonobstructive CAD, and 54% for hard events and 31% for all events in patients with obstructive CAD. Multivessel CAD was associated with a higher rate of hard cardiac events.

Conclusions: CTA provides prognostic information in patients with suspected CAD and unknown cardiac disease, showing excellent long-term prognosis when there is no evidence of atherosclerosis and allowing risk stratification when CAD is present.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Stenosis / complications
  • Coronary Stenosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Stenosis / mortality
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors