COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Initial experience with prospectively triggered, sequential CT coronary angiography on a 128-slice scanner]

K Anders, U Baum, S Gauss, M A Kuefner, S Achenbach, A Kuettner, W G Daniel, M Uder, D Ropers
RöFo: Fortschritte Auf Dem Gebiete der Röntgenstrahlen und der Nuklearmedizin 2009, 181 (4): 332-8
19291602

PURPOSE: Spiral CT angiography (CTA) of the coronaries using low-pitch scanning and ECG-gated image reconstruction is a robust method for detecting or excluding relevant coronary plaque. However, the resulting dose exposure is considerable. The aim of the present study was to evaluate image quality and artifacts as well as to record dose values for sequential coronary CTA using a 128-slice scanner with a temporal resolution of 150 ms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 20 patients with a regular heart rate and without contraindications for oral/I.V. beta blockers, who were referred for CTA of the coronaries for exclusion or detection of relevant plaques, were examined by sequential CTA with the following parameters: 120 kV, 200 ref mAs, collimation 2 x 64 x 0.6, table feed of 34.5 mm at a detector width of 38.4 mm. A total acquisition time of 380 ms per table position allowed for mild shifting of the reconstruction window within the cardiac cycle of +/- 5 %. 50 ml of contrast agent were injected at 5 ml/s followed by a 50 ml split bolus (20 % contrast). The individual start delay was determined by a test bolus scan (10 ml contrast + 50 ml saline flush at 5 ml/s). The image quality for each segment, coronary artery, and patient was determined on a 4-point scale. Dose values were estimated based on the individual dose length product as provided by the scanner's patient protocol. Artifacts were evaluated to determine the cause (calcium vs. motion).

RESULTS: All patients received beta blocker pretreatment. The mean heart rate was 62 +/- 5 beats/min. 5 % (13 / 286) of all segments in 5 / 20 patients were rated as non-diagnostic. The mean dose length product was 213 mGy x cm, and the mean effective dose was 3.6 mSv. Calcifications were the major cause of non-diagnostic images. However breathing or other motion artifacts occurred as well.

CONCLUSION: In select patients with effective heart rate control and thorough instruction for breath hold compliance, sequential CTA of the coronaries using a 128-slice scanner with a temporal resolution of 150 ms is technically feasible. The resulting effective dose values are clearly below those of spiral coronary CT scans.

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