(HealthDay News) — For patients presenting with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiac imaging leads to fewer invasive coronary angiography procedures and a higher yield of CAD, and is associated with lower costs than a traditional exercise tolerance test strategy, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
Ozan M. Demir, MBBS, from University Hospital Lewisham in London, and colleagues collected data for patients seen in rapid access chest pain clinics in two hospitals over a 12-month period. Hospitals A and B investigated patients by performing exercise tolerance test and cardiac imaging, respectively.
Overall, 483 patients were included from hospital A, of whom 43.3% (209 patients) had contraindications for exercise tolerance test, while 295 patients were included from hospital B.
The researchers found that 26.3% of the population for hospital A underwent invasive coronary angiography (127 procedures) and 40.9% had obstructive CAD. In hospital B, 21.4% of the population underwent invasive coronary angiography (63 procedures) and 50.8% had obstructive CAD.
The average cost per patient was $875 and $750 in hospitals A and B, respectively (P<.001).
“In conclusion, our results suggest that a cardiac imaging pathway leads to fewer ICA and a higher yield of obstructive CAD at lower cost per patient,” the researchers wrote.