June Anita Ejlersen

Danish study of Non-Invasive testintg in Coronary artery disease (Dan-NICAD): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

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BACKGROUND: Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is an established method for ruling out coronary artery disease (CAD). Most patients referred for CCTA do not have CAD and only approximately 20-30 % of patients are subsequently referred to further testing by invasive coronary angiography (ICA) or non-invasive perfusion evaluation due to suspected obstructive CAD. In cases with severe calcifications, a discrepancy between CCTA and ICA often occurs, leading to the well-described, low-diagnostic specificity of CCTA. As ICA is cost consuming and involves a risk of complications, an optimized algorithm would be valuable and could decrease the number of ICAs that do not lead to revascularization. The primary objective of the Dan-NICAD study is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) and myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS) as secondary tests after a primary CCTA where CAD could not be ruled out. The secondary objective includes an evaluation of the diagnostic precision of an acoustic technology that analyses the sound of coronary blood flow. It may potentially provide better stratification prior to CCTA than clinical risk stratification scores alone.

METHODS/DESIGN: Dan-NICAD is a multi-centre, randomised, cross-sectional trial, which will include approximately 2,000 patients without known CAD, who were referred to CCTA due to a history of symptoms suggestive of CAD and a low-risk to intermediate-risk profile, as evaluated by a cardiologist. Patient interview, sound recordings, and blood samples are obtained in connection with the CCTA. All patients with suspected obstructive CAD by CCTA are randomised to either stress CMRI or stress MPS, followed by ICA with fractional flow reserve (FFR) measurements. Obstructive CAD is defined as an FFR below 0.80 or as high-grade stenosis (>90 % diameter stenosis) by visual assessment. Diagnostic performance is evaluated as sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, likelihood ratios, and C statistics. Enrolment commenced in September 2014 and is expected to be complete in May 2016.

DISCUSSION: Dan-NICAD is designed to assess whether a secondary perfusion examination after CCTA could safely reduce the number of ICAs where revascularization is not required. The results are expected to add knowledge about the optimal algorithm for diagnosing CAD.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier, NCT02264717 . Registered on 26 September 2014.

Original languageEnglish
Article number262
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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