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Eur Radiol. 2013 Nov;23(11):2934-43. doi: 10.1007/s00330-013-2935-6. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Diagnostic performance of computed tomography coronary angiography to detect and exclude left main and/or three-vessel coronary artery disease.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Erasmus MC, Room Ca207a, s-Gravendijkwal 230, PO Box 2040, 3015 CE, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, a.dharampal@erasmusmc.nl.



To determine the diagnostic performance of CT coronary angiography (CTCA) in detecting and excluding left main (LM) and/or three-vessel CAD ("high-risk" CAD) in symptomatic patients and to compare its discriminatory value with the Duke risk score and calcium score.


Between 2004 and 2011, a total of 1,159 symptomatic patients (61 ± 11 years, 31 % women) with stable angina, without prior revascularisation underwent both invasive coronary angiography (ICA) and CTCA. All patients gave written informed consent for the additional CTCA. High-risk CAD was defined as LM and/or three-vessel obstructive CAD (≥50 % diameter stenosis).


A total of 197 (17 %) patients had high-risk CAD as determined by ICA. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive and negative likelihood ratios of CTCA were 95 % (95 % CI 91-97 %), 83 % (80-85 %), 53 % (48-58 %), 99 % (98-99 %), 5.47 and 0.06, respectively. CTCA provided incremental value (AUC 0.90, P < 0.001) in the discrimination of high-risk CAD compared with the Duke risk score and calcium score.


CTCA accurately excludes high-risk CAD in symptomatic patients. The detection of high-risk CAD is suboptimal owing to the high percentage (47 %) of overestimation of high-risk CAD. CTCA provides incremental value in the discrimination of high-risk CAD compared with the Duke risk score and calcium score.


• Computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) accurately excludes high-risk coronary artery disease. • CTCA overestimates high-risk coronary artery disease in 47 %. • CTCA discriminates high-risk CAD better than clinical evaluation and coronary calcification.

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