International Journal of Cardiovascular ResearchISSN: 2324-8602

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Causes Of Anxiety In Patients Undergoing Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography

Purpose: To analyze the underlying causes of anxiety in patients undergoing coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) and to correlate anxiety to patient-related factors (e.g. anxiety concerning the potential diagnosis of CAD or claustrophobia), in order to establish a patient-related risk profile for anxiety. Methods: We conducted a single-center cross-sectional analysis of patients’ anxiety and the underlying causes of anxiety prior to a CCTA-scan, including 325 patients. Questions concerning the patients’ state of anxiety and the underlying causes were asked by the radiologist during the standard informed consent prior to the CCTA-examination. Statistical analysis was performed including patient-related factors. Results: In total, 47.3% of patients reported a feeling of anxiety before undergoing CCTA (n=146). Anxiety showed much higher prevalence in women than in men (60.0% vs. 39.1%, p<0.005). The majority of anxious patients were afraid about the potential diagnosis of CAD (41.7% of women, 51.4% of men). The second most frequent cause of anxiety was claustrophobia (19.4% of women, 23.0% of men), immediately followed by fear about the admission of contrast material (15.3% of women, 13.5% of men). 9.7% of women and 5.4% of men were scared of radiation, and 2.8% of women / 1.4% of men expressed fear of intravenous needle placement. Conclusion: The results of our study underline that CCTA-related anxiety is relevant and not negligible, especially in women. Hence, the assumption that CT does not possess a relevant anxiogenic potential and therefore does not require specific anxiety-moderating measures should be challenged.

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