Correlative studies offer ample data on CTA's value in coronaries

November 1, 2006

"While the literature specific to coronary CT angiography is not as robust as it could be, there are plenty of correlative studies. We have a huge body of data looking at coronary catheter angiograms. If a coronary cath is normal, the prognosis is quite good. In many respects, the CTA is better than the standard invasive angiogram. I think we want to make the leap of faith that a normal is a normal no matter which way you do it. The prognostic value is as good for coronary CTA in a well-done study on a quality machine as it is for catheter angiography.

"The problem is that payers will resist reimbursing for CTA until clinical outcome data are there. That will take years. In the meantime, patients get caught in a revolving door of nuclear tests and/or invasive angiography when a negative CT would obviate the need for any other test."

-Dr. Michael L. Ridner, a cardiologist with The Heart Center in Huntsville, AL, in an interview with Diagnostic Imaging.