Journal of Nuclear Cardiology

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 364–376 | Cite as

A meta-analysis and systematic review of computed tomography angiography as a diagnostic triage tool for patients with chest pain presenting to the emergency department

  • Zainab SamadEmail author
  • Abdul Hakeem
  • Syed Shad Mahmood
  • Karen Pieper
  • Manesh R. Patel
  • David L. Simel
  • Pamela S. Douglas
Review Article



To assess clinical utility of computed tomography angiography (CTA) in the diagnosis of chest pain patients presenting to emergency departments (EDs), we conducted a meta-analysis of CTA in patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes (ACSs).


386 studies were identified on initial review of literature. Inclusion criteria were: (1) prospective study with ≥1 month follow-up, (2) use of CTA in the ED setting, (3) use of ACC/AHA definitions for ACS and robust assessment of major adverse cardiac events, (4) ≥30 patients, and (5) study population with initial non-diagnostic ECGs and negative biomarkers.


Nine studies (N = 1349) formed the data set. The pooled patient population was 52 ± 2 years of age, 51% male, with low to intermediate pretest probability for ACS. Risk factors included 12% diabetes, 42% hypertension, 35% smokers, 29% had hyperlipidemia, and 7% known CAD. ACS was subsequently diagnosed in 10% of patients. The bivariate summary estimate of sensitivity of CTA for ACS diagnosis was 95% (95% CI 88-100) and specificity was 87% (95% CI 83-92), yielding a negative likelihood ratio of 0.06 (95% CI 0-0.14) and positive likelihood ratio of 7.4 (95% CI 4.8-10). The 30-day event rate included no deaths and no additional MIs.


Coronary CTA demonstrates a high sensitivity and a low negative likelihood ratio of 0.06, and is effective in ruling out the presence of ACS in low to intermediate risk patients presenting to the ED with acute chest pain.


Computed tomography (CT) acute coronary syndromes diagnostic and prognostic application emergency department chest pain 



The authors are grateful to Vic Hasselblad for his guidance and review of the statistical analysis.




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Copyright information

© American Society of Nuclear Cardiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zainab Samad
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Abdul Hakeem
    • 3
  • Syed Shad Mahmood
    • 6
  • Karen Pieper
    • 4
  • Manesh R. Patel
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • David L. Simel
    • 2
    • 5
  • Pamela S. Douglas
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular MedicineDuke University Medical Center (DUMC)DurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineDuke University Medical Center (DUMC)DurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of CardiologyWilliam Beaumont HospitalRoyal OakUSA
  4. 4.Cardiovascular Imaging CenterDuke Clinical Research InstituteDurhamUSA
  5. 5.Durham VA Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  6. 6.The Aga Khan UniversityKarachiPakistan

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