Are Training Programs Ready for the Rapid Adoption of CCTA?: CBME in CCTA

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Apr 7;S1936-878X(21)00176-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2021.01.040. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: This study sought to assess training volumes and its relationship to learning and identify potential new thresholds for determining expertise.

Background: Competency-based medical education (CBME) is being rapidly adopted and therefore training programs will need to adapt and identify new and novel methods of defining, measuring, and assessing clinical skills.

Methods: Consecutive cardiac computed tomography (CT) studies were interpreted independently by trainees and expert readers, and their interpretations (Agatston score, coronary artery disease severity, and Coronary Artery Disease Reporting and Data System) were collected. Kappa agreements were measured between trainees and experts for every 50 consecutive cases. Agreements between trainees and experts were tracked and compared with the agreement between expert readers.

Results: A total of 36 trainees interpreted 14,432 cardiac CT studies. Agreement between trainees and experts increased with CT case volumes, but trainees learned at different rates. Using a threshold for expertise, skill of measuring coronary calcification was achieved within 50 cases, but expertise for coronary CT angiography appeared to require a mean case volume of 750, comprising 400 abnormal cases.

Conclusions: Current volume-based training guidelines may be insufficient and higher case volumes may be required. We demonstrate that tracking cardiac CT learners is feasible and that CBME could be incorporated into CT training programs.

Keywords: cardiac CT; cardiac imaging training guidelines; competency-based medical education.