JOURNAL ARTICLE

Low dose high-pitch spiral acquisition 128-slice dual-source computed tomography for the evaluation of coronary artery bypass graft patency

Robert Goetti, Sebastian Leschka, Stephan Baumüller, André Plass, Monika Wieser, Lotus Desbiolles, Paul Stolzmann, Volkmar Falk, Borut Marincek, Hatem Alkadhi, Gudrun Feuchtner
Investigative Radiology 2010, 45 (6): 324-30
20404735

OBJECTIVES: To prospectively assess electrocardiography (ECG)-synchronized dual-source computed tomography (CT) in high-pitch spiral acquisition mode for the evaluation of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patency regarding image quality and radiation dose.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty consecutive patients (47 men, age 69.6 +/- 9.6 years, body mass index 26.6 +/- 3.5 kg/m) underwent clinically indicated 128-slice dual-source CT angiography of the entire thorax for the evaluation of graft patency after CABG surgery using a prospectively ECG-synchronized high-pitch spiral acquisition mode (pitch 3.2; 100 kV tube voltage, 0.28 seconds gantry rotation time). Heart rates (HR) were noted. Image quality of the proximal anastomosis, graft body, distal anastomosis, and postanastomotic coronary artery were graded by 2 independent readers on a 3-point scale (1 = excellent, 2 = moderate, and 3 = poor/nondiagnostic). Quantitative image quality parameters (noise, contrast-to-noise ratio) were measured. Effective radiation doses were calculated.

RESULTS: Mean HR was 76 +/- 19 bpm (range, 45-135 bpm). Median scan time was 0.9 seconds (range, 0.76-1.17 seconds), mean scan length was 349 +/- 38 mm (range, 294-452 mm). A total of 125 CABG (54% arterial grafts) and 465 vessel sections were analyzed. Twelve grafts were proximally occluded. Diagnostic image quality was obtained in 462 (99.4%) sections. Of those, image quality was excellent in 397 (85.4%) and moderate in 65 (14.0%). All 3 (0.6%) nondiagnostic sections affected the distal anastomosis due to motion artifacts caused by high HR. Separating the study population by the median HR of 71 bpm, image quality of the distal anastomosis regarding motion artifacts was significantly lower at high HR (P < 0.05). Interobserver agreement in grading image quality of graft segments was good (kappa = 0.77). Image noise in the aorta was 36.9 +/- 8.1, contrast-to-noise ratio was 13.1 +/- 4.2. Effective radiation dose was 2.3 +/- 0.3 mSv.

CONCLUSIONS: The patency of coronary artery bypass grafts can be assessed with decreasing image quality at high HR in high-pitch prospectively ECG-synchronized thoracic 128-slice dual-source CT angiography at a low radiation dose.

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