Background The RESCUE (Randomized Evaluation of Patients with Stable Angina Comparing Utilization of Noninvasive Examinations) trial was a randomized, controlled, multicenter, comparative efficacy outcomes trial designed to assess whether initial testing with coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) is noninferior to single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion imaging in directing patients with stable angina to optimal medical therapy alone or optimal medical therapy with revascularization. Methods and Results The end point was first major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) (cardiac death or myocardial infarction), or revascularization. Noninferiority margin for CCTA was set a priori as a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.3 (95% CI=0, 1.605). One thousand fifty participants from 44 sites were randomized to CCTA (n=518) or SPECT (n=532). Mean follow-up time was 16.2 (SD 7.9) months. There were no cardiac-related deaths. In patients with a negative CCTA there was 1 acute myocardial infarction; in patients with a negative SPECT examination there were 2 acute myocardial infarctions; and for positive CCTA and SPECT, 1 acute myocardial infarction each. Participants in the CCTA arm had a similar rate of MACE or revascularization compared with those in the SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging arm, (HR, 1.03; 95% CI=0.61-1.75) (P=0.19). CCTA segment involvement by a stenosis of ≥50% diameter was a better predictor of MACE and revascularization at 1 year (P=0.02) than the percent reversible defect size by SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging. Four (1.2%) patients with negative CCTA compared with 14 (3.2%) with negative SPECT had MACE or revascularization (P=0.03). Conclusions There was no difference in outcomes of patients who had stable angina and who underwent CCTA in comparison to SPECT as the first imaging test directing them to optimal medical therapy alone or with revascularization. CCTA was a better predictor of MACE and revascularization. Registration Information URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/. Identifier: NCT01262625.
Keywords: angina; cardiovascular imaging; coronary computed tomography angiography; coronary revascularization; ischemia; nuclear medicine.