Johannes Waltenberger and Frank Breuckmann contributed equally to this work
Atrial fibrillation (AF) and coronary artery disease (CAD) may be encountered coincidently in a large portion of patients. However, data on coronary artery calcium burden in such patients are lacking. Thus, we sought to determine the value of cardiac computed tomography (CCT) in patients presenting with new-onset AF associated with an intermediate pretest probability for CAD admitted to a chest pain unit (CPU).
Calcium scores (CS) of 73 new-onset, symptomatic AF subjects without typical clinical, electrocardiographic, or laboratory signs of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) admitted to our CPU were analyzed. In addition, results from computed tomography angiography (CTA) were related to coronary angiography findings whenever available.
Calcium scores of zero were found in 25%. Median Agatston score was 77 (interquartile range: 1–270) with gender- and territory-specific dispersal. CS scores above average were present in about 50%, high (> 400)-to-very high (> 1000) CS scores were found in 22%. Overall percentile ranking showed a relative accordance to the reference percentile distribution. Additional CTA was performed in 47%, revealing stenoses in 12%. Coronary angiography was performed in 22% and resulted in coronary intervention or surgical revascularization in 7%. On univariate analysis, CS > 50th percentile failed to serve as an independent determinant of significant stenosis during catheterization.
Within a CPU setting, relevant CAD was excluded or confirmed in almost 50%, the latter with a high proportion of coronary angiographies and subsequent coronary interventions, underlining the diagnostic value of CCT in symptomatic, non-ACS, new-onset AF patients when admitted to a CPU.