News | April 21, 2010

CTA Less Costly Than Cardiac Catheterization

April 21, 2010 - Performing coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) saved $789 in patients who had positive stress test results but a less than 50 percent chance of having significant coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to invasive cardiac catheterization, reported a study in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

The study, performed at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa., compared the false-negative rates, false-positive rates, costs, and radiation exposure of direct referral of patients for cardiac catheterization with the values associated with performing coronary CTA before catheterization.

According to lead author of the study Ethan J. Halpern, M.D., at a 50 percent prevalence of CAD, they found performing coronary CTA before cardiac catheterization results in an average cost saving of $789 per patient with a false-negative rate of 2.5 percent and average additional radiation exposure of 1-2 mSv. Dr. Halpern said the study showed "when a patient with an expected CAD prevalence less than 85 percent is found to have a positive stress test result, coronary CTA is a less expensive alternative to direct performance of cardiac catheterization."

Reference: Halpern, E., et al. CCTA: Cost-effective, noninvasive alternative to invasive cardiac catheterization for the evaluation of significant CAD. American Journal of Roentgenology. May 2010.

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