New guidance standardizes care for patients presenting with acute chest pain in the emergency department

Arlington, VA (September 29, 2022) — The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) released an expert consensus document detailing standards of practice for coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) use for patients presenting with acute chest pain (ACP) to the emergency department.  

Endorsed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the North American Society for Cardiovascular Imaging (NASCI), the document outlines the benefits of CCTA as the first-line test for ACP and provides recommendations for appropriate patient selection, preparation, protocol selection, interpretation, reporting and patient management based on clinical evidence and expert consensus.

"This document serves as a framework for hospitals and emergency departments looking to implement and expand their coronary CTA programs,” said Christopher Maroules, MD, FSCCT, lead author. 

“With the detailed operational guidelines and best practices outlined in this document, physicians and administrators will be equipped to leverage the maximum value of this pathway, improving health outcomes for their patients, decompressing busy emergency rooms and lowering healthcare costs."

According to Maroules, the guidance is supported by data from eight randomized controlled trials and five meta-analyses validating the utility of CCTA in the emergency department.

Coronary CTA is now a recognized frontline test for acute chest pain triage, endorsed with the highest possible rating (Class I, Level of Evidence A) in the 2021 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Evaluation and Diagnosis of Chest Pain, he said.

“We've finally passed the inflection point where coronary CTA can be considered the new ‘standard of care’ for acute chest pain triage in patients with low-to-intermediate risk for acute coronary syndrome (ACS).”  

Read the document in Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (JCCT).  

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 85 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