CT a Good Option for Peripheral Arterial Disease Diagnosis

October 17, 2011

CT angiography works as well as conventional digital subtraction angiography for diagnosing peripheral arterial disease (PAD), researchers reported online in the journal Radiology.

CT angiography works as well as conventional digital subtraction angiography for diagnosing peripheral arterial disease (PAD), researchers reported online in the journal Radiology.

PAD, often a result of atherosclerosis, affects 15 to 20 percent of those over 70, particularly among men, former smokers, and those with diabetes.

An Italian team led by Alessandro Napoli, MD, PhD, of the University of Rome La Sapienza, considered results from 212 patients with symptomatic PAD who underwent 64-section CT angiography and then digital subtraction angiography, or DSA. To analyze arteries with stenosis of 70 percent or greater, the researchers divided the arterial bed into 35 segments, which were then evaluated by three readers.

Evaluating 7,420 segments in all, the team found agreement across the imaging methods in 96 percent of cases and an accuracy of 98 percent for both. They found “no significant difference between CT angiographic and DSA findings,” Napoli and colleagues reported.

Of the patients, 49 patients were referred for conservative treatment, 87 underwent endovascular procedures, 38 underwent surgery, and 17 received hybrid treatment. The therapy recommendations based on CT angiography imaging were identical to those based on DSA findings in all but one patient, the team said, concluding that “The diagnostic performance of 64-section CT angiography is excellent in patients with clinical symptoms of PAD.”