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Impact of a decreasing pre-test probability on the performance of diagnostic tests for coronary artery disease

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


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  • Luis Eduardo Juarez-Orozco
  • Antti Saraste
  • Davide Capodanno
  • Eva Prescott
  • Haitham Ballo
  • Jeroen J Bax
  • William Wijns
  • Juhani Knuuti
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AIMS: To provide a pooled estimation of contemporary pre-test probabilities (PTPs) of significant coronary artery disease (CAD) across clinical patient categories, re-evaluate the utility of the application of diagnostic techniques according to such estimates, and propose a comprehensive diagnostic technique selection tool for suspected CAD.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Estimates of significant CAD prevalence across sex, age, and type of chest pain categories from three large-scale studies were pooled (n = 15 815). The updated PTPs and diagnostic performance profiles of exercise electrocardiogram, invasive coronary angiography, coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), positron emission tomography (PET), stress cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), and SPECT were integrated to define the PTP ranges in which ruling-out CAD is possible with a post-test probability of <10% and <5%. These ranges were then integrated in a new colour-coded tabular diagnostic technique selection tool. The Bayesian relationship between PTP and the rate of diagnostic false positives was explored to complement the characterization of their utility. Pooled CAD prevalence was 14.9% (range = 1-52), clearly lower than that used in current clinical guidelines. Ruling-out capabilities of non-invasive imaging were good overall. The greatest ruling-out capacity (i.e. post-test probability <5%) was documented by CCTA, PET, and stress CMR. With decreasing PTP, the fraction of false positive findings rapidly increased, although a lower CAD prevalence partially cancels out such effect.

CONCLUSION: The contemporary PTP of significant CAD across symptomatic patient categories is substantially lower than currently assumed. With a low prevalence of the disease, non-invasive testing can rarely rule-in the disease and focus should shift to ruling-out obstructive CAD. The large proportion of false positive findings must be taken into account when patients with low PTP are investigated.

TidsskriftEuropean heart journal cardiovascular Imaging
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)1198-1207
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 1 nov. 2019

Bibliografisk note

Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author(s) 2019. For permissions, please email:

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