The Curbsiders Internal Medicine Podcast

#46: Chest pain, coronary CT angiography, and coronary artery disease

July 3, 2017
68 min

Master the evaluation of acute and chronic chest pain with coronary CT angiography (CCTA). We deconstruct this game changing technology w/experts from the Society for Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT), Dr. Todd Villines and Dr. Ahmad Slim. We’ve got answers on what to do when a patient with chest pain has a prior CAC score of zero, and/or a CCTA with non-obstructive disease. Plus: how to select, prepare, and counsel patients; how to interpret reports; choosing between myocardial perfusion study and CCTA, and more!

Special thanks to Dr. Emilio Fentanes from SCCT for setting up this interview.

Full show notes available at

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Case: 45 yo F active duty Colonel with chronic chest pain syndrome despite negative conventional stress test and CAC score of zero.

Time Stamps

00:00 Intro

04:00 Rapid fire questions

08:23 Book recommendations

10:14 Defining terms CCTA vs CAC

12:47 Script for counseling patient about CCTA

14:34 Prep for CCTA

16:40 Why is CCTA controversial?

19:37 Patient selection for CCTA both acute and chronic

25:20 Chronic chest pain and CCTA

27:58 CAC and CCTA in high risk occupations

33:25 Clinical case

36:10 Acute chest pain in patient w/CAC score zero

39:18 Acute chest pain in patient w/CAC score zero and previous CCTA w/non-obstructive CAD

41:22 How to read a CCTA report

45:48 CCTA versus conventional testing and risk MI, death

49:18 Use of CCTA in outpatients

52:16 Plaque characteristics and risk ACS

55:51 CCTA w/non-obstructive disease in patients with acute chest pain

58:14 When is myocardial perfusion scanning better?

61:00 Listener question on small vessel disease

62:09 Take home points

65:00 Curbsiders recap

69:33 Outro

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