Author(s): Paul JF, Rohnean A, SigalCinqualbre A
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Abstract Multidetector CT (MDCT) is increasingly used for imaging congenital heart disease (CHD) patients in addition to echocardiography, due to its ability to provide high quality three-dimensional images, giving a comprehensive evaluation of complex heart malformations. Using 4-slice or 16-slice CT, diagnostic information in CHD patients is limited to extra-cardiac anatomy, mainly the pulmonary arteries, aorta and venous connections. Due to high heart rates in babies however, coronary evaluation and intra-cardiac analysis were not reliable with the first generations of MDCT. Larger detector size with 64-slice CT and faster acquisition time, up to 75 ms for one slice, has progressively improved coronary and intra-cardiac visualization. Because radiation dose is the main concern, especially in children, every attempt to minimize dose whilst preserving image quality is important: the ALARA concept should always be applied in this population. The 80 kVp setting is now well accepted as a standard for more and more radiological teams involved in CT of children. Different acquisition strategies are now possible for childhood coronary imaging, using retrospective or even prospective gating. Using the latest technology, sub-mSv acquisitions are now attainable for scanning a whole thorax, providing a complete analysis of any 3-D cardiac malformation, including coronary artery course visualisation. This review will describe how technological developments have improved image quality with continuous reduction of radiation dose.
This article was published in Pediatr Radiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology