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Ziegler, Franz von; Brendel, Michaela; Übleis, Christopher; Helbig, Susanne; Greif, Martin; Ruemmler, Janine; Becker, Christoph; Hacker, Marcus; Steinbeck, Gerhard; Becker, Alexander: SPECT myocardial perfusion imaging as an adjunct to coronary calcium score for the detection of hemodynamically significant coronary artery stenosis. In: BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2012, 12:116




Background: Coronary artery calcifications (CAC) are markers of coronary atherosclerosis, but do not correlate well with stenosis severity. This study intended to evaluate clinical situations where a combined approach of coronary calcium scoring (CS) and nuclear stress test (SPECT-MPI) is useful for the detection of relevant CAD. Methods: Patients with clinical indication for invasive coronary angiography (ICA) were included into our study during 08/2005- 09/2008. At first all patients underwent CS procedure as part of the study protocol performed by either using a multidetector computed tomography (CT) scanner or a dual-source CT imager. CAC were automatically defined by dedicated software and the Agatston score was semi-automatically calculated. A stress-rest SPECT-MPI study was performed afterwards and scintigraphic images were evaluated quantitatively. Then all patients underwent ICA. Thereby significant CAD was defined as luminal stenosis >= 75% in quantitative coronary analysis (QCA) in >= 1 epicardial vessel. To compare data lacking Gaussian distribution an unpaired Wilcoxon-Test (Mann-Whitney) was used. Otherwise a Students t-test for unpaired samples was applied. Calculations were considered to be significant at a p-value of <0.05. Results: We consecutively included 351 symptomatic patients (mean age: 61.2 +/- 12.3 years; range: 18-94 years; male: n=240) with a mean Agatston score of 258.5 +/- 512.2 (range: 0-4214). ICA verified exclusion of significant CAD in 66/67 (98.5%) patients without CAC. CAC was detected in remaining 284 patients. In 132/284 patients (46.5%) with CS>0 significant CAD was confirmed by ICA, and excluded in 152/284 (53.5%) patients. Sensitivity for CAD detection by CS alone was calculated as 99.2%, specificity was 30.3%, and negative predictive value was 98.5%. An additional SPECT in patients with CS&gt;0 increased specificity to 80.9% while reducing sensitivity to 87.9%. Diagnostic accuracy was 84.2%. Conclusions: In patients without CS=0 significant CAD can be excluded with a high negative predictive value by CS alone. An additional SPECT-MPI in those patients with CS>0 leads to a high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of CAD while reducing the number of patients needing invasive diagnostic procedure.