In Patients With Stable Chest Pain, CT Is More Often Diagnostic Than Exercise ECG

23 October 2012
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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Oct 30 - Unlike exercise electrocardiography (XECG), CT angiography (CTA) is "nearly always" feasible and diagnostic in patients with stable chest complaints, researchers say in the October issue of the journal Heart.

While XECG is "a well-established and inexpensive procedure...and has been in widespread clinical use for decades," this test "is also known for its modest diagnostic accuracy," Dr. Koen Nieman and colleagues from Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, write.

In their recent study, the researchers compared the diagnostic performance of the two tests in 471 symptomatic ambulatory patients.

According to their report, non-diagnostic or inconclusive results were seen in 0.7% of CT scans and 33% of XECGs.
Overall, 30% of CT angiograms showed >50% stenosis in at least one vessel. Thirty-three percent of XECGs were abnormal. Results of CTA and XECG matched in 68% of patients with interpretable results.

The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of CTA for identifying patients with at least 50% stenosis were 96%, 37%, 67%, and 88%, respectively. For XECG, the corresponding values were 71%, 76%, 80%, and 66%.

Read 1326 times Last modified on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 11:57

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