The aortic root: comparison of measurements from ECG-gated CT angiography with transthoracic echocardiography

Iclal Ocak, Joan M Lacomis, Christopher R Deible, Karen Pealer, Yoav Parag, Friedrich Knollmann
Journal of Thoracic Imaging 2009, 24 (3): 223-6

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the measurements of the aortic root obtained from electrocardiographically (ECG)-gated computed tomography (CT) angiography (CTA) to the measurements obtained from transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective study in a patient population scanned at our institution between December 2005 and January 2007 with retrospectively ECG-gated CTA. ECG-gated CTA was performed with a 64-section helical CT scanner (Light speed, VCT, GE, Milwaukee, WI). Sixty-eight patients; 51 men and 17 women were included in this study. Aortic root diameters were measured by using double oblique reconstruction from axial source images. The TTE measurements of the aortic root were obtained from the reports that were performed within 2 months of CTA.

RESULTS: The average aortic root diameter measured by TTE was 33+/-4.1 mm; on CTA it was 36.9+/-3.8 mm. The median difference between the 2 measurements was 3.9 mm which was significant (P<0.0001). In patients whose aortic root measurements with CTA were normal, the TTE measurements were also normal. However, in the group of patients with dilated aortic roots by CTA, TTE measurements were significantly lower and many were normal. In the group of patients with dilated aortic root by TTE, the CTA measurements of the aortic root were similarly increased.

CONCLUSIONS: Retrospective comparison of TTE and CTA measurements of the aortic root reveal that TTE measurements are substantially lower or even normal in patients found to have dilated aortic root by CTA.

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