Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Dual-source CT in step-and-shoot mode: noninvasive coronary angiography with low radiation dose.

Radiology 2008 October
PURPOSE: To prospectively investigate computed tomographic (CT) image quality parameters by using different protocols and to calculate radiation dose estimates for noninvasive coronary angiography performed with dual-source CT in the step-and-shoot (SAS) mode.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was local ethics board approved; written informed consent was obtained from all patients. In the preliminary portion of the study, 40 patients underwent CT coronary angiography in the SAS mode: at 100 kV (protocol A) in 22 patients with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 kg/m(2) and at 120 kV (protocol B) in 18 patients with a BMI of 25-30 kg/m(2). Both protocols involved use of an attenuation-based tube current and 1 mL of contrast material per kilogram of body weight. The final portion of the study involved 50 additional patients: 21 patients with a BMI of 25-30 kg/cm(2) assigned to protocol B and 29 patients with a BMI of less than 25 kg/cm(2) assigned to protocol C, which was performed with 100 kV, an attenuation-based tube current, and a reduced contrast material dose of 0.8 mL/kg. Image quality was independently assessed. Attenuation in the aorta and coronary arteries and image noise were measured. Radiation dose was estimated.

RESULTS: Mean image noise was similar with protocols A and B. Mean attenuation in the aorta and coronary arteries with protocol A (444 HU) was significantly (P < .001) higher than that with protocol B (358 HU). The reduced contrast material dose in protocol C yielded attenuation similar to that with protocol B. Diagnostic image quality was achieved with all protocols in 1237 (97.9%) of 1264 coronary segments. No significant differences in image quality between the 100- and 120-kV protocols were found. Mean heart rate had a significant effect on motion artifacts (area under receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] = 0.818; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.723, 0.892; P < .001), whereas heart rate variability had a significant effect on stair-step artifacts (AUC = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.687, 0.865; P < .001). The mean estimated effective dose was 1.2 mSv +/- 0.2 for protocols A and C and 2.6 mSv +/- 0.5 for protocol B.

CONCLUSION: Dual-source SAS-mode CT coronary angiography yielded diagnostic image quality for 97.9% of coronary segments at a low radiation dose.

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