Clinical significance of incidental findings on coronary CT angiography: Insights from a randomized controlled trial

Lauren H. Goldman, Rikah Lerer, Cyrus Shabrang, Mark I. Travin, Jeffrey M. Levsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Background: The effect of incidental findings from coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) on management has not been rigorously investigated. This study uses a control group to explore this relationship. Methods: Analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of acute chest pain patients admitted to telemetry was performed. Patients were randomized to undergo either CCTA (n = 200) or radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) (n = 200). Incidental findings were determined from imaging reports. Records were reviewed to determine subsequent management and imaging during and after hospitalization. Comparisons were performed using Fischer’s exact tests. Results: 386 incidental findings were found among 187 CCTA studies. No extra-cardiac incidental findings were noted in the MPI arm, which served as an effective control group. There were significantly more non-coronary medical workups during admission in the CCTA group compared to the MPI group [20% (39) vs. 12% (23), P = 0.038]. CCTA patients underwent significantly more resting echocardiography during the inpatient workup compared to the MPI group [38% (75) vs. 18% (55), P = 0.042]. CCTA patients underwent significantly more non-contrast chest CT exams in the year following admission compared to MPI patients [14% (27) vs. 7% (13) P = 0.029]. Conclusions: Incidental findings on inpatient CCTAs performed for chest pain have a significant impact on treatment and imaging during and following hospital admission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • CAD
  • CT
  • Image interpretation
  • MPI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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