CT more cost-effective than SPECT in diagnosing CAD

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Patients who underwent coronary CT angiography (CCTA) without a prior diagnosis of coronary artery disease incurred lower costs than those who underwent myocardial perfusion imaging, according to a study presented by James K. Min, MD, on Tuesday at the 2008 American College of Cardiology (ACC) meeting in Chicago.

Min, a cardiologist from New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in New York City, said that the study “provides an initial foundation to suggest that CCTA may be used as a cost-efficient alternative to nuclear stress testing for evaluation of patients with suspected coronary artery disease.”

The researchers collected data for nine months before and after 142,535 patients underwent CCTA or myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) . The investigators then assessed the pre-test cardiac risk by cardiac risk factors and medications.

MPI patients were matched to CCTA patients using 11 categories of demographic and risk states, Min said. The researchers measured the cost and clinical effectiveness in both downstream CAD costs and clinical events including MI, angina and CAD-related hospitalization.

Min reported that both groups had equal clinical outcomes.

GE Healthcare funded this study.