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Emerg Med J doi:10.1136/emermed-2012-201795
  • Short report

CT coronary angiography: new risks for low-risk chest pain

  1. Ryan Patrick Radecki
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ryan Patrick Radecki, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6431 Fannin St., JJL 450, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Ryan.P.Radecki{at}uth.tmc.edu
  • Accepted 5 October 2012
  • Published Online First 8 November 2012

Abstract

Widespread conservative management of low-risk chest pain has motivated the development of a rapid triage strategy based on CT coronary angiography (CTCA) in the Emergency Department (ED). Recently, three prominent trials using this technology in the ED setting have presented results in support of its routine use. However, these studies fail to show the incremental prognostic value of CTCA over clinical and biomarker-based risk-stratification strategies, demonstrate additional downstream costs and interventions, and result in multiple harms associated with radio-contrast and radiation exposure. Observing the widespread overdiagnosis of pulmonary embolism following availability of CT pulmonary angiogram as a practice pattern parallel, CTCA use for low-risk chest pain in the ED should be advanced only with caution.