J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2021 Feb 23:S1934-5925(21)00026-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2021.02.002. Online ahead of print.
In the United States, non-obstructive coronary disease has been on the rise, and each year, nearly one million adults suffer myocardial infarction, 70% of which are non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). In addition, approximately 15% of patients suffering NSTEMI will have subsequent readmission for a recurrent acute coronary syndrome (ACS). While invasive angiography remains the standard of care in the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to these patients, these methods have limitations that include procedural complications, uncertain specificity in diagnosis of the culprit lesion in patients with multi-vessel coronary artery disease (CAD), and challenges in following coronary disease over time. The role of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) for evaluating patients with both stable and acute chest pain has seen a paramount upshift in the last decade. This paper reviews the established role of CCTA for the rapid exclusion of obstructive plaque in troponin negative acute chest pain, while exploring opportunities to address challenges in the current approach to evaluating NSTEMI.