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Study Results show use of Coronary CT Angiography Lowers Heart Attack Risk and Death

Contrast enhanced 3D rendering coronary CTA
Contrast enhanced 3D rendering coronary CTA
The New England Journal of Medicine released new findings that revealed patients with chest pain who underwent coronary CT angiography (CCTA) with standard care had a markedly lower rate of myocardial infarction or death from coronary artery disease than those who only received standard care. These findings were the result of the Scottish Computed Tomography of the Heart (SCOT-HEART) trial. The research included institutions from the U.K. and Ireland which examined the five-year outcomes of more than 4,000 patients whom clinicians had referred for chest pain assessment to one of 12 cardiology centers. CCTA in addition to standard care was associated with a 41% lower subsequent risk for nonfatal myocardial infarction or death from coronary artery disease than standard care alone. Study author Dr. David Newby, from the University of Edinburgh, reported “the use of CCTA resulted in more correct diagnoses of coronary heart disease than standard care alone, which, in turn, led to the use of appropriate therapies, and this change in management resulted in fewer clinical events. Additionally, the decrease in risk of heart attack or death was achieved without significant increase in invasive procedures, such as invasive coronary angiography and coronary revascularization. The CCTA group received a slightly higher number of less invasive antianginal and preventive therapies. In conclusion, the trial found that “information provided by a diagnostic test can be therapeutically beneficial beyond making a correct diagnosis of coronary artery disease and that clinicians should aggressively pursue preventive measures to achieve the best outcomes possible while minimizing daily symptoms”. Information courtesy of 2018