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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 GP-led CTCA prior to RACPC.
RACPC pathway patients without pre-existing CAD electronic records were reviewed (September-October 2019). Feasibility assessments included appropriateness for RACPC, referral clinical data versus RACPC assessment for CTCA indication and safety, and a comparison of actual versus hypothetical pathways, timelines and hospital encounters.
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 versus 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 referral-to-diagnosis by at least a median of 27 days (IQR 14–33).
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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Early online date15 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Nov 2022


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