The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of computed tomography screening for coronary artery disease: systematic review

N. Waugh, C. Black, S. Walker, L. McIntyre, E. Cummins, G. Hillis

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This review was commissioned by the UK HTA Programme on behalf of the National Screening Committee (NSC). The aim of the review was to examine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of screening for heart disease using computed tomography (CT), taking into account the effect on mortality, detection of early disease and the impact on quality of life. One stimulus for the review was publicity about the use of whole-body CT screening, which is not currently provided by the NHS, but may be on offer in the private sector. This review did not consider the effectiveness of screening for conditions other than coronary heart disease (CHD). A separate review has considered the case for screening for lung cancer.

A previous review for the HTA Programme, covering evidence on spiral CT and electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) published up to October 1997, included only two studies of its use in asymptomatic coronary artery disease (CAD) (compared with 15 in symptomatic disease).

The review is concerned with screening in people with no symptoms of heart disease at all, and not with those who have known coronary disease. The term 'screening' is used in the epidemiological sense, of a simple test used to distinguish those who probably have the disease (on definitive testing) from those who probably do not, rather than in any imaging sense.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-
JournalHealth Technology Assessment
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • electron-beam tomography
  • acute myocardial-infarction
  • men aged 40-49
  • heart-disease
  • risk-factors
  • asymptomatic individuals
  • cardiovascular risk
  • follow-up
  • secondary prevention
  • behavioral-change

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