Objectives: There is conflicting evidence about the comparative diagnostic accuracy of the Agatston score versus computed tomography angiography (CTA) in patients with suspected obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Purpose: To determine whether CTA is superior to the Agatston score in the diagnosis of CAD. Methods: In total 2452 patients with stable chest pain and a clinical indication for invasive coronary angiography (ICA) for suspected CAD were included by the Collaborative Meta-analysis of Cardiac CT (COME-CCT) Consortium. An Agatston score of > 400 was considered positive, and obstructive CAD defined as at least 50% coronary diameter stenosis on ICA was used as the reference standard. Results: Obstructive CAD was diagnosed in 44.9% of patients (1100/2452). The median Agatston score was 74. Diagnostic accuracy of CTA for the detection of obstructive CAD (81.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 77.5 to 84.1%) was significantly higher than that of the Agatston score (68.8%, 95% CI: 64.2 to 73.1%, p < 0.001). Among patients with an Agatston score of zero, 17% (101/600) had obstructive CAD. Diagnostic accuracy of CTA was not significantly different in patients with low to intermediate (1 to < 100, 100–400) versus moderate to high Agatston scores (401–1000, > 1000). Conclusions: Results in our international cohort show CTA to have significantly higher diagnostic accuracy than the Agatston score in patients with stable chest pain, suspected CAD, and a clinical indication for ICA. Diagnostic performance of CTA is not affected by a higher Agatston score while an Agatston score of zero does not reliably exclude obstructive CAD. Key Points: • CTA showed significantly higher diagnostic accuracy (81.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 77.5 to 84.1%) for diagnosis of coronary artery disease when compared to the Agatston score (68.8%, 95% CI: 64.2 to 73.1%, p < 0.001). • Diagnostic performance of CTA was not affected by increased amount of calcium and was not significantly different in patients with low to intermediate (1 to <100, 100–400) versus moderate to high Agatston scores (401–1000, > 1000). • Seventeen percent of patients with an Agatston score of zero showed obstructive coronary artery disease by invasive angiography showing absence of coronary artery calcium cannot reliably exclude coronary artery disease.
- Computed tomography angiography
- Coronary angiography
- Coronary artery disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging