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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 582590, 7 pages
Research Article

Using Coronary Artery Calcification Combined with Pretest Clinical Risk Assessment as a Means of Determining Investigation and Treatment in Patients Presenting with Chest Pain in a Rural Setting

1Department of Cardiology, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor LL57 2PW, UK
2School of Medical Sciences, Bangor University, Brigantia Building, Penrallt Road, Bangor LL57 2DG, UK
3Department of Radiology, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor LL57 2PW, UK

Received 25 August 2014; Revised 29 September 2014; Accepted 29 September 2014

Academic Editor: Zhonghua Sun

Copyright © 2015 Baskar Sekar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


462 patients presenting with chest pain to a rural district general hospital underwent calcium scoring and pretest clinical risk assessment in order to stratify subsequent investigations and treatment was retrospectively reviewed. The patients were followed up for two years and further investigations and outcomes recorded. Of the 206 patients with zero calcium score, 132 patients were immediately discharged from cardiac follow-up with no further investigation on the basis of their calcium score, low pretest risk of coronary artery disease, and no significant incidental findings. After further tests, 267 patients were discharged with no further cardiac therapy, 88 patients were discharged with additional medical therapy, and 19 patients underwent coronary artery by-pass grafting or percutaneous intervention. 164 patients with incidental findings on the chest CT (computed tomography) accompanying calcium scoring were reviewed, of which 88 patients underwent further tests and follow-up for noncardiac causes of chest pain. The correlations between all major risk factors and calcium scores were weak except for a combination of diabetes and hypertension in the male gender (), The use of calcium scoring and pretest risk appeared to reduce the number of unnecessary cardiac investigations in our patients: however, the calcium scoring test produced a high number of incidental findings on the associated CT scans.