Coronary computed tomography angiography is a noninvasive heart imaging test currently undergoing rapid development and advancement. The high resolution of the three-dimensional pictures of the moving heart and great vessels is performed during a coronary computed tomography to identify coronary artery disease and classify patient risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The technique provides useful information about the coronary tree and atherosclerotic plaques beyond simple luminal narrowing and plaque type defined by calcium content. This application will improve image-guided prevention, medical therapy, and coronary interventions. The ability to interpret coronary computed tomography images is of utmost importance as we develop personalized medical care to enable therapeutic interventions stratified on the bases of plaque characteristics. This overview provides available data and expert's recommendations in the utilization of coronary computed tomography findings. We focus on the use of coronary computed tomography to detect coronary artery disease and stratify patients at risk, illustrating the implications of this test on patient management. We describe its diagnostic power in identifying patients at higher risk to develop acute coronary syndrome and its prognostic significance. Finally, we highlight the features of the vulnerable plaques imaged by coronary computed tomography angiography.
- Adverse cardiac events
- Coronary artery disease
- Coronary computed tomography
- High-risk plaque
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging