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JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011 Feb;4(2):191-202. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2010.10.011.

Quantification of coronary arterial stenoses by multidetector CT angiography in comparison with conventional angiography methods, caveats, and implications.

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Division of Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) is a rapidly evolving technology for performing noninvasive coronary angiography. Despite good sensitivity and specificity for detecting significant coronary artery disease in patients, disagreement on individual coronary arterial stenosis severity is common between MDCT and the current gold standard, conventional angiography. The reasons for such disagreement are numerous, but are at least partly inherent to MDCT's modest spatial and temporal resolution at present. Less well acknowledged, however, is the fact that MDCT and conventional angiography are fundamentally different technologies, rendering good agreement on the degree of lumen narrowing rather unrealistic, given both of their respective limitations. Discrepant stenosis assessment by MDCT and conventional angiography receives remarkable attention, whereas its significance for patient outcome is less certain. On the other hand, the ability to noninvasively assess coronary arterial plaque characteristics and composition in addition to lumen obstruction shows strong promise for improved risk assessment and may at last enable us to move beyond mere coronary stenosis assessment for the management of patients with coronary artery disease.

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