16 Mar CT Coronary Angiography Safely Clarifies Heart Disease Diagnosis
MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Newby: The diagnosis of angina (chest pain) due to coronary heart disease can be very challenging and we often get it wrong. We have a wide range of tests that can try and identify patients with angina due to coronary heart disease. However, even with these tests, we fail to identify 1 in 3 patients who go on to have heart attacks. So we need better tests.
The study shows that if you add CTCA to a clinic consultation, you clarify the diagnosis in 1 in 4 patients, alter the investigations in 1 in 6 and change the subsequent treatments in 1 in 4. This did appear not only to increase the use of coronary revascularisation but also reduce the risk of subsequent heart attacks by 38-50%.
MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Newby: CT coronary angiography is a rapid safe and effective way to diagnose coronary heart disease that appears to have major additional benefits in terms of clarifying the diagnosis, focusing appropriate investigations and treatments, and potentially reducing the risk of heart attacks.
MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Newby: We need to see the longer term impact of CTCA on symptoms of angina, hospitalisations for chest pain and the long term outcome (5 years) of these patients. We will also need to assess the health economics and cost effectiveness of this approach.
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. David Newby (2015). CT Coronary Angiography Safely Clarifies Heart Disease Diagnosis