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Arch Intern Med. 2011 Jul 25;171(14):1260-8. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.204. Epub 2011 May 23.

Impact of coronary computed tomographic angiography results on patient and physician behavior in a low-risk population.

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Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for Prevention of Heart Disease, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



The impact of screening coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) on physician and patient behavior is unclear.


We studied asymptomatic patients from a health-screening program. Our study population comprised 1000 patients who underwent CCTA as part of a prior study and a matched control group of 1000 patients who did not. We assessed medication use, secondary test referrals, revascularizations, and cardiovascular events at 90 days and 18 months.


A total of 215 patients in the CCTA group had coronary atherosclerosis (CCTA positive). Medication use was increased in the CCTA-positive group compared with both the CCTA-negative (no atherosclerosis) and control groups at 90 days (statin use, 34% vs 5% vs 8%, respectively; aspirin use, 40% vs 5% vs 8%, respectively), and 18 months (statin use, 20% vs 3% vs 6%, respectively; aspirin use, 26% vs 3% vs 6%, respectively). After multivariable risk adjustment, the odds ratios for statin and aspirin use in the CCTA-positive group at 18 months were 3.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-8.3) and 4.2 (95% CI, 1.8-9.6), respectively. At 90 days, in the total CCTA group vs controls, there were more secondary tests (55 [5%] vs 22 [2%]; P < .001) and revascularizations (13 [1%] vs 1 [0.1%]; P < .001). One cardiovascular event occurred in each group over 18 months.


An abnormal screening CCTA result was predictive of increased aspirin and statin use at 90 days and 18 months, although medication use lessened over time. Screening CCTA was associated with increased invasive testing, without any difference in events at 18 months. Screening CCTA should not be considered a justifiable test at this time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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