The role of coronary CT angiography for acute chest pain in the era of high-sensitivity troponins

J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2019 Sep-Oct;13(5):267-273. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2019.05.007. Epub 2019 Jun 15.


Accurate and efficient diagnostic triage for acute chest pain (ACP) remains one of the most challenging problems in the emergency department (ED). While the proportion of patients that present with myocardial infarction (MI), aortic dissection, or pulmonary embolism is relatively low, a missed diagnosis can be life threatening. Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has developed into a robust diagnostic tool in the triage of ACP over the past decade, with several trials showing that it can reliably identify patients at low risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, shorten the length of stay in the ED, and reduce cost associated with the triage of patients with undifferentiated chest pain. Recently, however, high-sensitivity troponin assays have been increasingly incorporated as a rapid and efficient diagnostic test in the triage of ACP due to their higher sensitivity and negative predictive value of myocardial infarction. As more EDs adopt high-sensitivity troponin assays into routine clinical practice, the role of CCTA will likely change. In this review, we provide an overview of CCTA and high-sensitivity troponins for evaluation of patients with suspected ACS in the ED. Moreover, we discuss the changing role of CCTA in the era of high-sensitivity troponins.

Keywords: Acute chest pain; Computed tomography; High-sensitivity troponin; Triage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / therapy
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Computed Tomography Angiography*
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / therapy
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Plaque, Atherosclerotic*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Triage
  • Troponin / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Troponin