Aims: Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has a high accuracy for detection of obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Several studies also showed a good predictive value for subsequent cardiac events. However, the follow-up period of these studies was limited to ~2 years and long-term follow-up data on prognosis out to 5 years are very limited.
Methods and results: This study is based on 1584 patients with suspected CAD undergoing CCTA between December 2003 and November 2006. Among other CCTA parameters, the total plaque score defined as number of abnormal segments (having either a non-obstructive plaque or a stenosis) and the most severe stenosis were recorded. The primary endpoint was a composite of death and non-fatal myocardial infarction. Revascularization procedures later than 90 days after the CT study were assessed as secondary endpoints. During a median follow-up of 5.6 years (IQR: 5.1-6.3 years) 61 patients suffered death or myocardial infarction and 52 underwent late revascularization. The severity of CAD and the total plaque score were the best predictors of death and non-fatal myocardial infarction, both significantly improving prediction over standard clinical risk scores (multivariate c-index 0.60 and 0.66, respectively, P = 0.002 and <0.0001, respectively). The annual event rate ranged from 0.24% for patients with no CAD to 1.1% for patients with obstructive CAD and 1.5% for patients with CAD and extensive plaque load (>5 segments). Both parameters also improved prediction of need for subsequent revascularization (c-index 0.72 and 0.63, respectively, P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0013, respectively).
Conclusion: Data from CCTA predict both death and myocardial infarction as well as need for subsequent revascularizations out to 5 years. CCTA imaging may be a valuable tool in the assessment of long-term prognosis in patients with suspected CAD.
Keywords: Coronary CT angiography; Coronary artery disease; Prognosis.