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Am J Cardiol. 2012 Jul 15;110(2):183-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2012.02.066. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

A computed tomography-based coronary lesion score to predict acute coronary syndrome among patients with acute chest pain and significant coronary stenosis on coronary computed tomographic angiogram.

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  • 1Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


We tested the hypothesis that morphologic lesion assessment helps detect acute coronary syndrome (ACS) during index hospitalization in patients with acute chest pain and significant stenosis on coronary computed tomographic angiogram (CTA). Patients who presented to an emergency department with chest pain but no objective signs of myocardial ischemia (nondiagnostic electrocardiogram and negative initial biomarkers) underwent CT angiography. CTA was analyzed for degree and length of stenosis, plaque area and volume, remodeling index, CT attenuation of plaque, and spotty calcium in all patients with significant stenosis (>50% in diameter) on CTA. ACS during index hospitalization was determined by a panel of 2 physicians blinded to results of CT angiography. For lesion characteristics associated with ACS, we determined cutpoints optimized for diagnostic accuracy and created lesion scores. For each score, we determined the odds ratio (OR) and discriminatory capacity for the prediction of ACS. Of the overall population of 368 patients, 34 had significant stenosis and 21 of those had ACS. Scores A (remodeling index plus spotty calcium: OR 3.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2 to 10.1, area under curve [AUC] 0.734), B (remodeling index plus spotty calcium plus stenosis length: OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.6 to 13.7, AUC 0.824), and C (remodeling index plus spotty calcium plus stenosis length plus plaque volume <90 HU: OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.5 to 7.9, AUC 0.833) were significantly associated with ACS. In conclusion, in patients presenting with acute chest pain and stenosis on coronary CTA, a CT-based score incorporating morphologic characteristics of coronary lesions had a good discriminatory value for detection of ACS during index hospitalization.

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