Background: Although coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) improves diagnostic certainty in the assessment of patients with stable chest pain, its effect on 5-year clinical outcomes is unknown.
Methods: In an open-label, multicenter, parallel-group trial, we randomly assigned 4146 patients with stable chest pain who had been referred to a cardiology clinic for evaluation to standard care plus CTA (2073 patients) or to standard care alone (2073 patients). Investigations, treatments, and clinical outcomes were assessed over 3 to 7 years of follow-up. The primary end point was death from coronary heart disease or nonfatal myocardial infarction at 5 years.
Results: The median duration of follow-up was 4.8 years, which yielded 20,254 patient-years of follow-up. The 5-year rate of the primary end point was lower in the CTA group than in the standard-care group (2.3% [48 patients] vs. 3.9% [81 patients]; hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41 to 0.84; P=0.004). Although the rates of invasive coronary angiography and coronary revascularization were higher in the CTA group than in the standard-care group in the first few months of follow-up, overall rates were similar at 5 years: invasive coronary angiography was performed in 491 patients in the CTA group and in 502 patients in the standard-care group (hazard ratio, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.13), and coronary revascularization was performed in 279 patients in the CTA group and in 267 in the standard-care group (hazard ratio, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.91 to 1.27). However, more preventive therapies were initiated in patients in the CTA group (odds ratio, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.65), as were more antianginal therapies (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.54). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of cardiovascular or noncardiovascular deaths or deaths from any cause.
Conclusions: In this trial, the use of CTA in addition to standard care in patients with stable chest pain resulted in a significantly lower rate of death from coronary heart disease or nonfatal myocardial infarction at 5 years than standard care alone, without resulting in a significantly higher rate of coronary angiography or coronary revascularization. (Funded by the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office and others; SCOT-HEART ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01149590 .).