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Coronary venous imaging with electron beam computed tomographic angiography: three-dimensional mapping and relationship with coronary arteries

Songshou Mao, Jerold S Shinbane, Marc J Girsky, Janis Child, Sivi Carson, Ronald J Oudiz, Matthew J Budoff
American Heart Journal 2005, 150 (2): 315-22

BACKGROUND: The coronary venous system can provide vascular access for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Visualization of the coronary veins and their relationship to other cardiac structures may play an important role in facilitating these procedures. We sought to assess the ability of electron beam computed tomographic angiography (EBCTA) to characterize 3-dimensional (3-D) coronary venous anatomy.

METHODS: Two hundred thirty-one consecutive EBCTA coronary studies were analyzed. The coronary venous system was mapped and analyzed using 2- and 3-D images with definition of diameter and angulations of branch vessels and distance from CS os.

RESULTS: The coronary sinus (CS), great cardiac, middle cardiac, left ventricular (LV) anterior interventricular, LV marginal, LV posterior, left atrial, and right atrial veins were visualized in 100%, 100%, 100%, 100%, 78%, 81%, 6%, and 8% of the studies, respectively, with definition of diameter and angulations of branch vessels and distance from CS os. There was a significant linear correlation between CS diameter and right atrial end systolic volume (R = 0.244, n = 81, P < .05). No significant correlation existed between CS os diameter and other cardiac size or function parameters. The 3-D spatial arrangements between the coronary veins and the coronary arteries in relation to the epicardium were able to be defined, on the basis of the vessel closer to the epicardium in overlapping segments.

CONCLUSIONS: EBCTA can provide 3-D visualization of most components of the coronary venous system and definition of the spatial relationships with coronary arteries. EBCTA may potentially serve as a useful noninvasive tool for coronary venous imaging for procedures involving coronary veins, such as resynchronization therapy.

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