Cardiac CT Reduces Need for Catheterization in Atypical Chest Pain Interview with:

Professor Marc Dewey Heisenberg professor of radiology Vice Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Charité (Campus Mitte) Berlin Germany

Prof. Marc Dewey

Professor Marc Dewey
Heisenberg professor of radiology
Vice Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Charité (Campus Mitte)
Berlin Germany What is the background for this study?

Response: Over 3.5 million cardiac catheterisations are performed in Europe each year. This study, jointly conducted by radiologists and cardiologists at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and published in today’s issue of The BMJ, compares computed tomography (CT) with cardiac catheterisation in patients with atypical chest pain and suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). What are the main findings?

Response: CT reduced the need for cardiac catheterisation from 100% to 14% in the group of patients who received CT first instead of catheterisation. If catheterisation was needed in the CT group, the proportion of catheterisations showing obstructive CAD was 5 times higher than in the catheterisation group. Over a period of 3.3 years, the patients in the CT group neither had more cardiac catheterisations nor an increase in cardiovascular events. Moreover, CT shortened the length of stay by 23 hours and 79% of patients said they would prefer CT for future examinations of the heart. Overall, the results of the BMJ study show that CT is a gentle test for reliably ruling out CAD in patients with atypical chest pain who are currently being referred for cardiac catheterisation in routine clinical practice. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Along with the results of other randomised studies, the BMJ study provides ample evidence for the benefit of cardiac CT examinations. I therefore think that it is now time to enter into serious discussions to make CT a diagnostic test to be reimbursed by health insurance. Where can patients get more information about the study?

Link to BMJ study and 2-min video summary: Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Evaluation of computed tomography in patients with atypical angina or chest pain clinically referred for invasive coronary angiography: randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 24 October 2016)Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5441

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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