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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013 Aug 6;62(6):543-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.04.040. Epub 2013 May 15.

Associations between routine coronary computed tomographic angiography and reduced unnecessary hospital admissions, length of stay, recidivism rates, and invasive coronary angiography in the emergency department triage of chest pain.

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Department of Radiology, Stony Brook Medicine, State University of New York-Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA.



This study was designed to assess the effects on resource utilization of routine coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) in triaging chest pain patients in the emergency department (ED).


The routine use of CCTA for ED evaluation of chest pain is feasible and safe.


We conducted a retrospective multivariate analysis of data from two risk-matched cohorts of 894 ED patients presenting with chest pain to assess the impact of CCTA versus standard evaluation on admissions rate, length of stay, major adverse cardiovascular event rates, recidivism rates, and downstream resource utilization.


The overall admission rate was lower with CCTA (14% vs. 40%; p < 0.001). Standard evaluation was associated with a 5.5-fold greater risk for admission (odds ratio [OR]: 5.53; p < 0.001). Expected ED length of stay with standard evaluation was about 1.6 times longer (OR: 1.55; p < 0.001). There were no differences in the rates of death and acute myocardial infarction within 30 days of the index visit between the two groups. The likelihood of returning to the ED within 30 days for recurrent chest pain was 5 times greater with standard evaluation (OR: 5.06; p = 0.022). Standard evaluation was associated with a 7-fold greater likelihood of invasive coronary angiography without revascularization (OR: 7.17; p < 0.001), while neither group was significantly more likely to receive revascularization (OR: 2.06; p = 0.193). The median radiation dose with CCTA was 5.88 mSv (n = 1039; confidence interval: 5.2 to 6.4).


The routine use of CCTA in ED evaluation of chest pain reduces healthcare resource utilization.


ACS; AMI; CAD; CCTA; ECG; ED; MACE; acute coronary syndrome(s); acute myocardial infarction; admission rate; chest pain; coronary artery disease; coronary computed tomographic angiography; electrocardiography; emergency; emergency department; invasive resource utilization; length of stay; major adverse cardiovascular event(s)

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