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Impact of smoking in patients with suspected coronary artery disease in the randomised DISCHARGE trial

Publication at Second Faculty of Medicine |


OBJECTIVES: To investigate if the effect of cardiac computed tomography (CT) vs. invasive coronary angiography (ICA) on cardiovascular events differs based on smoking status. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This pre-specified subgroup analysis of the pragmatic, prospective, multicentre, randomised DISCHARGE trial (NCT02400229) involved 3561 patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD).

The primary endpoint was major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE: cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or stroke). Secondary endpoints included an expanded MACE composite (MACE, transient ischaemic attack, or major procedure-related complications).

RESULTS: Of 3445 randomised patients with smoking data (mean age 59.1 years + / - 9.7, 1151 men), at 3.5-year follow-up, the effect of CT vs. ICA on MACE was consistent across smoking groups (p for interaction = 0.98).

The percutaneous coronary intervention rate was significantly lower with a CT-first strategy in smokers and former smokers (p = 0.01 for both). A CT-first strategy reduced the hazard of major procedure-related complications (HR: 0.21, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.81; p = 0.045) across smoking groups.

In current smokers, the expanded MACE composite was lower in the CT- compared to the ICA-first strategy (2.3% (8) vs 6.0% (18), HR: 0.38; 95% CI: 0.17, 0.88). The rate of non-obstructive CAD was significantly higher in all three smoking groups in the CT-first strategy.

CONCLUSION: For patients with stable chest pain referred for ICA, the clinical outcomes of CT were consistent across smoking status. The CT-first approach led to a higher detection rate of non-obstructive CAD and fewer major procedure-related complications in smokers.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE STATEMENT: This pre-specified sub-analysis of the DISCHARGE trial confirms that a CT-first strategy in patients with stable chest pain referred for invasive coronary angiography with an intermediate pre-test probability of coronary artery disease is as effective as and safer than invasive coronary angiography, irrespective of smoking status. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02400229.

KEY POINTS:. No randomised studies have assessed smoking status on CT effectiveness in symptomatic patients referred for invasive coronary angiography..

A CT-first strategy results in comparable adverse events, fewer complications, and increased coronary artery disease detection, irrespective of smoking status.. A CT-first strategy is safe and effective for stable chest pain patients with intermediate pre-test probability for CAD, including never smokers.