Author(s): Achenbach S, Ulzheimer S, Baum U, Kachelriess M, Ropers D,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: We investigated the applicability and image quality of contrast-enhanced coronary artery visualization by multislice spiral CT using retrospective ECG gating. METHODS AND RESULTS: Twenty-five patients in sinus rhythm (significant coronary artery stenoses ruled out by invasive angiography) were studied with a multislice spiral CT (Siemens SOMATOM Volume Zoom). In inspiration (mean breath-hold, 37 seconds), a volume data set of the heart was acquired (intravenous contrast agent; 4 x 1-mm slice thickness; 500-ms rotation; table feed, 1.5 mm/360 degrees ). Simultaneous recording of the ECG permitted retrospective reconstruction of contiguous cross sections in intervals of 1 mm at any desired interval of the cardiac cycle. The mean duration of the image reconstruction window was 185 ms. Next to 3-dimensional reconstructions of the heart and coronary arteries, multiplanar reconstructions were rendered to determine the visualized length of the coronary arteries, the contrast-to-noise ratio, and the correlation of coronary artery diameters to quantitative coronary angiography. CONCLUSIONS: The coronary arteries could be visualized over long segments (left main, 9+/-4 mm; left anterior descending, 112+/-34 mm; left circumflex, 80+/-29 mm; right coronary artery, 116+/-33 mm). On average, 78+/-16\% of these distances were visualized free of motion artifacts. The mean contrast-to-noise ratio was 9.3+/-3.3. Coronary artery diameters in multislice spiral CT showed close correlation to quantitative coronary angiography (CT, 3.3+/-1.0 mm; angiography, 3. 2+/-0.9 mm; mean difference, 0.38 mm; r=0.86). Contrast-enhanced multislice spiral CT permits visualization of the coronary artery lumen. Further studies are necessary to determine whether image quality is sufficient to reliably detect coronary artery stenoses.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access