High intracoronary attenuation significantly improves diagnostic accuracy in 64-slice CT-CA of the coronary arteries, according to a new study by researchers from Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria in Parma, Italy.
For the study, 170 patients with suspected coronary artery disease underwent CT-CA. The average vascular attenuation measured in the aortic root and in coronary arteries was used to divide the population into two groups of 85 patients each, one with low attenuations and one with high. The researchers found that the sensitivity and specificity for detecting artery lesions were 91% and 93%, respectively, for the low group and 96% and 97%, respectively for the high attenuation group.
"These results stress the importance of high intra-coronary attenuation during coronary CT angiography to achieve better diagnostic accuracy and therefore better diagnosis," said Filippo Cademartiri, MD, of Erasmus Medical Center, and one of the authors of the study. "As a result, a higher iodine concentration could be a means to increase diagnostic accuracy," he added.
However, the authors caution, high attenuation by itself is not the only issue that should be taken into consideration. "Other factors beside high attenuation are also important, especially in difficult patients (for instance, high body mass index, small coronary arteries, etc.). This information can be the difference between a diagnostic and a non-diagnostic investigation," said Dr. Cademartiri.
The full results of the study will be presented on Monday, May 7 by Erica Maffei, MD, of the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.