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Updated diagnostic & prognostic paradigm for CAD: A narrative review

  • Authors: Toia P.; la Grutta L.; Smeraldi T.; Agnello F.; Grassedonio E.; Maffei E.; Midiri M.; Cademartiri F.
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Cardiovascular diseases are the first cause of death globally; early detection of coronary artery disease (CAD) is a challenge for clinicians and radiologists. Over the past 2 decades there have been several improvements in the methods for the assessment of diagnosis and prognosis in patients with suspected CAD; most of these methods are imaging methods and they operate with high-end technologies. Cardiac computed tomography (CCT) as we know it today was introduced in 1998 and has ever progressed with constant pace. The first decade was the technical validation phase of the method while the second decade was the clinical validation phase. CCT has developed an excellent diagnostic and prognostic value; technological development together with radiation dose reduction, contributed to the widening of its clinical indications. The diagnostic value of CCT is particularly important as a first line in symptomatic patients with suspected obstructive CAD and low-to-intermediate cardiovascular risk. It is a test that should come, whenever possible, in front of functional evaluation because of its very high sensitivity and negative predictive value. The prognostic value of CCt is still investigational, even though it is becoming quite evident that the atherosclerotic phenotype plays a major role in the determination of prognosis, and as consequence, in the individualization of optimal pharmacological therapy, especially in the cohort without significant obstructive CAD. Recently, scientific and practical guidelines have been updated taking into account the role of CCT, which is able to provide a reliable and fast diagnosis with an additional resources optimization. Multiple registries and trials have been developed and will be summarized in this review. Recent guidelines highlighted the role of CCT in diagnosing suspected CAD.