Artificial Intelligence (AI) Prevents Unneeded Chest Pain Testing


Artificial intelligence (AI) may be able to prevent unnecessary diagnostic testing in those with stable angina, according to new study results.

The study was presented as a “Best of” abstract at the International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT (ICNC), and it highlighted a cost analysis was based on data from the AI for Clinical Cardiac Navigation (ARTICA) registry and financial database of the three participating study centers.

“We know that doctors overtest patients and ignore recommendations about when a test justified about two-thirds of the time,” Dr. Marco Mazzanti, of the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, and an author on the study, said in a press release about the research. “Our ‘super brain’ [AI] decision support system, called ARTICA, strictly follows ESC guidelines and does not advise unnecessary examinations.”

The study population consisted of 982 patients with stable chest pain. A computerized AI decision support system and a human cardiologist were present at each site and applied during the same-day visit. The researchers identified coronary artery disease (50% or greater coronary stenosis on CTA (n=961) or invasive coronary angiography (n=21).

According to the abstract, the AI decision support system classified 658 patients as needing “no further testing (NFT).” By contrast, standard care with a human cardiology labeled NFT in just 45 patients. Following coronary CTA or invasive angiography, 639 (97%) of those labled for NFT also showed no significant coronary artery disease. In fact, the AI decision support system reduced medical procedures, reduced staff time needed per patient by a mean of 61 minutes, and reduced mean time patients spent at the office by 121 minutes.

The researchers wrote that this AI decision support system approach to care has the potential to reduce costs and staff time in the triaging of stable chest pain patients.

“AI has the potential to save costs and staff time by identifying patients with chest pain who do not have significant coronary artery disease and therefore do not need expensive cardiac imaging,” Dr. Mazzanti said. “As doctors we order a lot of tests which cost a lot of money and waste time. ARTICA is like a second set of eyes to make sure we follow recommendations.”