Evaluation of a "triple rule-out" coronary CT angiography protocol: use of 64-Section CT in low-to-moderate risk emergency department patients suspected of having acute coronary syndrome.
Radiology. 2008 Aug;248(2):438-46
Authors: Takakuwa KM, Halpern EJ
PURPOSE: To determine whether coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography "triple rule-out" evaluation of emergency department (ED) patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) can help identify a subset of patients who can be discharged without adverse clinical outcomes within 30 days. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This protocol was approved by the university institutional review board. Each patient provided written informed consent prior to inclusion. Coronary CT angiography was performed in 201 consecutive low-to-moderate risk ACS patients. A triple rule-out protocol was used to evaluate for coronary disease, pulmonary embolism, aortic dissection, and other thoracic disease. Four patients were excluded because of technical problems. The remaining subjects underwent a 30-day follow-up. RESULTS: A disease process other than coronary atherosclerosis that explained the presenting symptoms was diagnosed in 22 (11%) of 197 patients. Clinically important noncoronary diagnoses that did not explain patient symptoms were identified in 27 (14%) of 197 additional patients. With respect to coronary artery disease, 10 patients had severe disease (>70% stenosis), 12 had moderate disease (50%-70% stenosis), 46 had mild disease (up to 50% stenosis), and 129 had no disease. No further diagnostic testing was performed in 133 (76%) of 175 of patients with no to mild coronary disease. At 30-day follow-up, the negative predictive value of coronary CT angiography with no more than mild disease was 99.4%. There were no adverse outcomes at 30 days. CONCLUSION: Triple rule-out coronary CT angiography evaluation of low-to-moderate risk ACS patients presenting to the ED provided a noncoronary diagnosis that explained the presenting complaint in 11% of patients, suggested the presence of significant moderate-to-severe coronary disease in 11% (22 of 197) of patients, and precluded additional diagnostic cardiac testing in the majority of patients with no adverse outcomes at 30-day follow-up.
PMID: 18641247 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]