Is there still a role for cardiac CT in the emergency department in the era of highly-sensitive troponins?

Admir Dedic, Koen Nieman, Udo Hoffmann, Maros Ferencik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Physicians practicing cardiovascular medicine are every day confronted with patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Over the years, there have been substantial technical advances, such as the introduction of new non-invasive imaging techniques and the introduction of new highly sensitive cardiac biomarkers. Physicians have adopted these new assets and have become more experienced with them thus improving medical care. Nevertheless, the search for an efficient, yet safe diagnostic work-up for patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of ACS is ongoing. A large proportion of patients will require some form of non-invasive testing and the choice for the diagnostic modality as well as its timing are important steps in this process. Cardiac computed tomography (CT), a non-invasive imaging technique that rapidly provides visualization of the coronary artery tree, is an attractive option, with its unparalleled negative predictive value for obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD ). With the introduction of highly-sensitive troponins (hsTn), the role of non-invasive testing, including cardiac CT, has changed. This review will provide an oversight on what is known about cardiac CT in acute chest presentations. Furthermore, we will discuss the changing role of cardiac CT in the era of hsTn and the possibility of their combined use in the work-up of suspected ACS patients. hsTn is currently an established tool for the diagnosis and triage of patients with suspected ACS. The role of cardiac CT has shifted now to a secondary, comprehensive rule-out test in patients with inconclusive biomarker status, providing information on stenosis severity, plaque burden, high-risk features and the presence of other serious conditions that can also give rise to hsTn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
JournalMinerva cardioangiologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Cardiac imaging techniques
  • Chest pain
  • Coronary angiography
  • Troponin
  • X-ray computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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