Aims: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women and non-invasive testing for CAD in women can be more challenging than in men. This study compared the diagnostic performance of whole-heart dynamic 3D cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) stress perfusion imaging in female and male patients with quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) as reference tests.
Methods and results: Four hundred sixteen patients with suspected or known CAD were enrolled in five European centres. CMR imaging was performed prior to clinically indicated coronary angiography. QCA was performed in all patients and FFR in 357 of 416 patients. Whole-heart dynamic 3D CMR first-pass perfusion imaging was conducted at rest and during adenosine stress. All CMR analyses were operated by experienced investigators blinded to all clinical data. One hundred nineteen female and 297 male patients were included and successfully examined (mean age 65 ± 11 and 63 ± 11 years, respectively). FFR was performed in 106 female and 251 male patients. Sensitivity and specificity of whole-heart dynamic 3D CMR stress perfusion imaging were 89% (95% CI: 77-96) and 82% (95% CI: 70-90) in the female population and 83% (95% CI: 77-86) and 79% (95% CI: 71-86) in the male population relative to QCA (P = 0.474 and P = 0.83, P-values for comparison between genders). Sensitivity and specificity were 95% (95% CI: 82-99) and 84% (95% CI: 73-92) in the female population and 83% (95% CI: 76-89) and 82% (95% CI: 74-88) in the male population when using FFR as the reference (P = 0.134 and P = 0.936, P-values for comparison between genders). Diagnostic accuracy in females was 92% (95% CI: 85-96) and 86% (95% CI: 81-90) in males when using FFR as the reference. The prevalence of CAD as defined by FFR (<0.8) was 36% in females and 53% in males.
Conclusion: Whole-heart dynamic 3D CMR stress perfusion imaging has a high diagnostic accuracy for the detection of significant CAD irrespective of gender and is therefore a suitable non-invasive testing tool to detect myocardial ischaemia in both genders.