Comparison of exercise treadmill testing with cardiac computed tomography angiography among patients presenting to the emergency room with chest pain: the Rule Out Myocardial Infarction Using Computer-Assisted Tomography (ROMICAT) study.

Department of Medicine (Cardiovascular Division) and Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging (Impact Factor: 5.8). 02/2012; 5(2):233-42. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.111.969568
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aims of our study were to (1) examine how data from exercise treadmill testing (ETT) can identify patients who have coronary plaque or stenosis, using CT angiography (CTA) as the reference standard, and (2) identify patient characteristics that may be used in selecting ETT versus CTA.
The Rule Out Myocardial Infarction Using Computer-Assisted Tomography (ROMICAT) trial was an observational cohort study of acute chest pain patients presenting to the emergency department with normal initial troponin and a nonischemic ECG. Univariate and multivariable analyses were performed to assess the relationship of baseline clinical data and ETT parameters with coronary plaque and stenosis on CTA. Of the 220 patients who had ETT (mean age, 51 years; 63% men), 21 (10%) had positive results. A positive ETT had a sensitivity of 30% and specificity of 93% to detect >50% stenosis. The sensitivity increased to 83% after excluding uninterpretable segments and evaluating the ability to detect a >70% stenosis. Predictors of plaque included older age, male sex, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, lower functional capacity, and a lower Duke Treadmill Score. Both a positive ETT and a low Duke Treadmill Score were significant univariate and multivariable predictors of stenosis >50% on CTA Whereas the prevalence of stenosis by CTA was greater among patients with more risk factors, coronary stenosis was not present among men <40 years old or women <50 years old or individuals who achieved at least 13 metabolic equivalents on ETT.
Among low- to intermediate-risk patients with acute chest pain, a positive ETT has a limited sensitivity but high specificity for the detection of >50% stenosis by CTA. Although patients with a high number of clinical risk factors are more likely to have obstructive coronary artery disease, those who are young or who would be expected to have a very high exercise capacity are unlikely to have coronary stenosis and therefore may benefit from initial ETT testing instead of CTA.

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