Using coronary CT angiography for guiding invasive coronary angiography: potential role to reduce intraprocedural radiation exposure

Eur Radiol. 2018 Jul;28(7):2756-2762. doi: 10.1007/s00330-018-5317-2. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Objectives: We investigated the potential reduction of patient exposure during invasive coronary angiography (ICA) if the procedure had only been directed to the vessel with at least one ≥ 50% stenosis as described in the CT report.

Methods: Dose reports of 61 patients referred to ICA because of at least one ≥ 50% stenosis on coronary CT angiography (CCTA) were included. Dose-area product (DAP) was documented separately for left (LCA) and right coronary arteries (RCA) by summing up the single DAP for each angiographic projection. The study population was subdivided as follows: coronary intervention of LCA (group 1) or RCA (group 2) only, or of both vessels (group 3), or further bypass grafting (group 4), or no further intervention (group 5).

Results: 57.4% of the study population could have benefitted from reduced exposure if catheterization had been directly guided to the vessel of interest as described on CCTA. Mean relative DAP reductions were as follows: group 1 (n = 18), 11.2%; group 2 (n = 2), 40.3%; group 3 (n = 10), 0%; group 4 (n = 3), 0%; group 5 (n = 28), 28.8%.

Conclusions: Directing ICA to the vessel with stenosis as described on CCTA would reduce intraprocedural patient exposure substantially, especially for patients with single-vessel stenosis.

Key points: • Patients with CAD can benefit from decreased radiation exposure during coronary angiography. • ICA should be directed solely to significant stenoses as described on CCTA. • Severely calcified plaques remain a limitation of CCTA leading to unnecessary ICA referrals.

Keywords: Computed tomography angiography; Coronary angiography; Coronary artery disease; Coronary vessels; Radiation exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Computed Tomography Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy*
  • Coronary Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Stenosis / pathology
  • Coronary Stenosis / therapy
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Exposure / prevention & control
  • Radiography, Interventional / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thorax