CT coronary angiography first prior to rapid access chest pain clinic review: a retrospective feasibility study

John Graby, David Murphy, Rhys Metters, Kady Parke, Samantha Jones, Dawn Ellis, Ali Khavandi, Kevin Carson, Robert Lowe, Jonathan C.L. Rodrigues

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1 Citation (SciVal)


Objectives: Since rapid access chest pain clinics (RACPC) were established to streamline stable chest pain assessment, CT coronary angiography (CTCA) has become the recommended investigation for patients without known coronary artery disease (CAD), with well-defined indications. This single-centre retrospective study assessed the feasibility of General Practice (GP)-led CTCA prior to RACPC. Methods: RACPC pathway patients without pre-existing CAD electronic records were reviewed (September– October 2019). Feasibility assessments included appropriateness for RACPC, referral clinical data vs RACPC assessment for CTCA indication and safety, and a comparison of actual vs hypothetical pathways, timelines and hospital encounters. Results: 106/172 patients screened met inclusion criteria (mean age 61 ± 14, 51% female). 102 (96%) referrals were ‘appropriate’. No safety concerns were identified to preclude a GP-led CTCA strategy. The hypothetical pathway increased CTCA requests vs RACPC (84 vs 71), whilst improving adherence to guidelines and off-loading other services. 22% (23/106) had no CAD, representing cases where one hospital encounter may be sufficient. The hypothetical pathway would have reduced referraltodiagnosis by at least a median of 27 days (interquartile range 14–33). Conclusion: A hypothetical GP-led CTCA pathway would have been feasible and safe in a real-world RACPC patient cohort without pre-existing CAD. This novel strategy would have increased referrals for CTCA, whilst streamlining patient pathways and improved NICE guidance adherence. Advances in knowledge: GP-led CTCA is a feasible and safe pathway for patients without pre-existing CAD referred to RACPC, reducing hospital encounters required and may accelerate time to diagnosis. This approach may have implications and opportunities for other healthcare pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20220201
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1143
Early online date19 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr Rodrigues reports personal fees from NHSX and Sanofi outside of the submitted work. No other conflicts to disclose, and this research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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