Role of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance as a Gatekeeper to Invasive Coronary Angiography in Patients Presenting With Heart Failure of Unknown Etiology
Background—In patients presenting with new-onset heart failure of uncertain etiology, the role of coronary angiography (CA) is unclear. Although conventionally performed to differentiate underlying coronary artery disease from dilated cardiomyopathy, CA is associated with a risk of complications and may not detect an ischemic cause resulting from arterial recanalization or an embolic episode. In this study, we assessed the diagnostic accuracy of a cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) protocol incorporating late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and magnetic resonance CA as a noninvasive gatekeeper to CA in determining the etiology of heart failure in this subset of patients.
Methods and Results—One hundred twenty consecutive patients underwent CMR and CA. The etiology was ascribed by a consensus panel that used the results of the CMR scans. Similarly, a separate consensus group ascribed an underlying cause by using the results of CA. The diagnostic accuracy of both strategies was compared against a gold-standard panel that made a definitive judgment by reviewing all clinical data. The study was powered to show noninferiority between the 2 techniques. The sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 96%, and diagnostic accuracy of 97% for LGE-CMR were equivalent to CA (sensitivity, 93%; specificity, 96%; and diagnostic accuracy, 95%). As a gatekeeper to CA, LGE-CMR was also found to be a cheaper diagnostic strategy in a decision tree model when United Kingdom–based costs were assumed. The economic merits of this model would change, depending on the relative costs of LGE-CMR and CA in any specific healthcare system.
Conclusion—This study showed that LGE-CMR is a safe, clinically effective, and potentially economical gatekeeper to CA in patients presenting with heart failure of uncertain etiology.
- Received November 30, 2010.
- Accepted June 14, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.