Objective: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is frequent in patients with newly diagnosed heart failure (HF). Multislice CT (MSCT) is a non-invasive alternative to coronary angiography (CAG) suggested for patients with a low-to-intermediate risk of CAD. No established definition of such patients exists. Our purpose was to develop a simple score to identify as large a group as possible with a suitable pretest risk of CAD.
Methods: Retrospective study of patients in Denmark undergoing CAG due to newly diagnosed HF from 2010 to 2014. All Danish patients were registered in two databases according to geographical location. We used data from one registry and multiple logistic regression with backwards elimination to find predictors of CAD and used the derived OR to develop a clinical risk score called the CT-HF score, which was subsequently validated in the other database.
Results: The main cohort consisted of 2171 patients and the validation cohort consisted of 2795 patients with 24% and 27% of patients having significant CAD, respectively. Among significant predictor, the strongest was extracardiac arteriopathy (OR 2.84). Other significant factors were male sex, smoking, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus, angina and age. A proposed cut-off of 9 points identified 61% of patients with a 15% risk of having CAD, resulting in an estimated savings of 15% of the cost and 21% of the radiation.
Conclusions: A simple score based on clinical risk factors could identify HF patients with a low risk of CAD; these patients may have benefitted from MSCT as a gatekeeper for CAG.