CT angiography best for chest pain in ED, study suggests

Going straight to CT angiography when patients present at an emergency department with chest pain offers a faster, cheaper and more accurate diagnosis for some patients, a new study concludes.

The study, which reviewed 759 acute chest pain patients at 16 EDs, randomly assigned patients to get either standard screening with myocardial perfusion imaging or computed tomographic angiography. 

While both methods appeared to be safe, diagnosis times for patients who had CCTA were 54 percent shorter (3 hours rather than 6.3 hours) and cost of care for CCTA patients was 38.2 lower ($2,137 compared with $3,458 for patients geting standard myocardial perfusion tests).

The CT was particularly effective at speeding things up and improving accuracy for patients with chest pain who have low to moderate enzyme and EKG scores, reported researchers, who presented this week at the American Heart Association's annual meeting.

Get more background on the study:
- read this HealthDay News piece

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