Noninvasive imaging for coronary artery disease: a technology assessment for the Medicare Coverage Advisory Commission.
This report describes a review of the available scientific evidence through 2005 on direct noninvasive imaging tests (NITs) for coronary artery disease. In particular, the report addresses 6 key questions provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The questions examine the degree to which current evidence supports confident judgments about the use of NITs in the assessment of native coronary artery stenosis in clinical practice. The 2 NITs that are examined in detail in this report are 16 (and higher)-multidetector computed tomography angiography and 1.5-T magnetic resonance angiography to evaluate for stenosis in native coronary arteries. Reported sensitivity of NITs ranged from 68% to 100%; reported specificity ranged from 57% to 100% (patient-based analysis). Limitations include the exclusion of significant numbers of segments and patients, with often only the proximal coronary segments visualized. There is no direct evidence assessing the clinical use of NITs in terms of the incremental benefits or risks compared to alternative testing strategies. Although the ability of noninvasive direct coronary imaging technologies is promising-particularly the 64-multidetector computed tomography angiography-the evidence does not provide strong guidance on whether and how such technologies should be used in the population generally, or for Medicare beneficiaries specifically. Informed clinical and policy decision making will require further study of these technologies in well-characterized clinical contexts, in typical practice settings, and with attention to impact on management and health outcomes.
Patel, MR; Hurwitz, LM; Orlando, L; McCrory, DC; Sanders, GD; Matchar, DB; Mark, D; Medicare Coverage Advisory Commission,
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