Current Roles and Future Applications of Cardiac CT: Risk Stratification of Coronary Artery Disease

Authors: Yeonyee Elizabeth Yoon, MD,1 and Tae-Hwan Lim, MD, PhD

Cardiac computed tomography (CT) has emerged as a noninvasive modality for the assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD), and has been rapidly integrated into clinical cares. CT has changed the traditional risk stratification based on clinical risk to image-based identification of patient risk. Cardiac CT, including coronary artery calcium score and coronary CT angiography, can provide prognostic information and is expected to improve risk stratification of CAD. Currently used conventional cardiac CT, provides accurate anatomic information but not functional significance of CAD, and it may not be sufficient to guide treatments such as revascularization. Recently, myocardial CT perfusion imaging, intracoronary luminal attenuation gradient, and CT-derived computed fractional flow reserve were developed to combine anatomical and functional data. Although at present, the diagnostic and prognostic value of these novel technologies needs to be evaluated further, it is expected that all-in-one cardiac CT can guide treatment and improve patient outcomes in the near future.