Current noninvasive imaging techniques for detection of coronary artery disease

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Scopus citations


The development and widespread use of noninvasive imaging techniques have contributed to the improvement in evaluation of patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Stress echocardiography and single-photon computed tomography are well-established noninvasive techniques with a proven track record for the diagnosis of coronary atherosclerosis. These modalities are generally widely available and provide a relatively high sensitivity and specificity along with an incremental value over clinical risk factors for detection of coronary artery disease. PET has a high diagnostic performance but continues to have limited clinical use because of the high expense of the dedicated equipment and difficulties in obtaining adequate radionuclides. Cardiac MRI and multislice computed tomography constitute the most recent addition to the cardiac imaging armamentarium. Cardiac MRI offers a comprehensive cardiac evaluation, which includes wall-motion analysis, myocardial tissue morphology, rest and stress first-pass myocardial perfusion, as well as ventricular systolic function. Cardiac computed tomography allows coronary calcium scanning along with noninvasive anatomic assessment of the coronary tree. It can be combined with functional imaging to provide a complete evaluation of the presence and physiological significance of the atherosclerotic coronary disease. No single imaging modality has been proven to be superior overall. Available tests all have advantages and drawbacks, and none can be considered suitable for all patients. The choice of the imaging method should be tailored to each person based on the clinical judgment of the a priori risk of cardiac event, clinical history and local expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalExpert review of cardiovascular therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • coronary artery disease
  • diagnosis
  • noninvasive cardiac imaging
  • stress testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine

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