In the United States, more than 1 million diagnostic invasive coronary angiograms are performed annually, and in about 50% the investigation is followed by an interventional procedure. The remaining symptomatic patients after angiography are treated conservatively or by bypass graft surgery. In recent decades coronary angiography has advanced to a fast and safe investigation. Nevertheless, in particular, patients are well aware of the small but not negligible risk of complications and the discomfort of the invasive procedure. In addition to electrocardiogram (EKG) or ultrasound stress test and thallium scintigraphy, there is further need for another noninvasive method that displays the morphology of the coronary arteries in a way that would allow the triage of patients with suspicion of coronary artery disease (CAD) for a conservative, interventional, or surgical treatment.
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View details for PubMedID 15170776