A team of scintists has found that CT angiography better predicts the risk for future cardiac events than do measures of exercise tolerance or restricted blood flow to the heart muscle.
The team, led by Udo Hoffmann from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), for the first time demonstrated the ability of CT angiography to identify a large group of at-risk patients in a randomised comparison, who would have been missed by functional stress testing.
The CT angiography proved superior primarily due to its ability to reveal nonobstructive coronary artery disease.
The scientists showed that obstructive coronary artery disease and myocardial ischemia remain the strongest predictors of future cardiovascular events.
“This not only provides important information for physicians making choices regarding which test to perform but also suggests that implementing lifestyle changes and potentially the use of statin drugs may lower the risk of future clinical events for patients with nonobstructive disease,” Hoffmann said.
The findings of the study appeared in the June 13 issue of the journal Circulation.