Increase in CCTA use reduces hospitalizations and death rates

Arlington, VA (Jan. 19, 2023) — A recent study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging reports coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is an effective and cost-neutral alternative to other modes of assessing coronary artery disease (CAD), with improved patient outcomes in areas that use more CCTA.

Research by Jonathan Weir-McCall, PhD and colleagues analyzed a population of nearly 2 million patients evaluated for suspected CAD in the United Kingdom between 2012 and 2018.

The study aimed to assess imaging use following updated guidance provided by the United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for caring for patients with recent-onset chest pain, which recommends CCTA as the first-line test for possible angina.

Researchers found that CCTA use is rising as a result of the 2016 NICE guidance, and reported that regions with the greatest use of CCTA saw the greatest reduction in hospitalization for myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death.

“These real-world findings in a very large patient cohort provide strong evidence that the use of CCTA as a first-line investigation in those with suspected coronary artery disease reduces cardiovascular mortality, and proves the use of CCTA as the first-line test — as proposed in the U.K. NICE guidance — is highly cost-effective,” said Edward Nicol, MD, MBA, FSCCT, co-author and Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) president-elect.

Over the 7-year study period, the increased use of CCTA did not result in layered testing, and despite the overall increase in imaging investigations performed, the cost to the NHS remained stable, only rising in line with inflation, according to Dr. Nicol.

“This cost neutrality was driven by a reduction in more expensive investigations, such as invasive coronary angiography, with a replacement with less expensive CT coronary angiography,” he said.

About the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography

Founded in 2005, the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) is the international professional society devoted to improving health outcomes through effective use of cardiovascular computed tomography (CCT), with members from over 90 countries. SCCT is a community of physicians, scientists and technologists advocating for access, research, education and clinical excellence in the use of CCT. For more information, please visit