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Findings Support Whole-Heart MRA for Detecting CAD

Sensitivity and specificity are 88 and 72 percent, respectively, for magnetic resonance angiography

THURSDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Non-contrast enhanced whole-heart coronary magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) at 1.5-T has high sensitivity and moderate specificity for detecting significant coronary artery disease (CAD), with a negative predictive value suggesting that it can rule out CAD, according to research published in the Sept. 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Shingo Kato, M.D., of the Mie University Hospital in Tsu, Japan, and colleagues analyzed data from patients with chest pain and suspected coronary artery stenosis; 138 underwent coronary MRA, and image acquisition was successful in 127.

The researchers found that the sensitivity and specificity for detecting patients with significant CAD were 88 and 72 percent, respectively, according to patient-based analysis. Positive and negative predictive values were 71 and 88 percent, respectively, and accuracy was 79 percent.

"Compared with computed tomography angiography, magnetic resonance coronary angiography [MRCA] is still a cumbersome method with a higher failure rate, longer scan times, and less accuracy due to the lower positive predictive value. However, the results of Kato et al show that MRCA is evolving slowly but steadily, and we should continue to look out for this method. Clearly, a noninvasive test to determine the significance of coronary artery stenosis (stress perfusion imaging) and visualizing the morphologic correlate (coronary artery imaging) in one examination without the use of ionizing radiation would be highly attractive," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

The editorial author disclosed financial relationships with Philips Healthcare and Bayer Schering Pharma.

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