Dual-step prospective ECG-triggered 128-slice dual-source CT for evaluation of coronary arteries and cardiac function without heart rate control: a technical note

Gudrun Feuchtner, Robert Goetti, Andrè Plass, Stephan Baumueller, Paul Stolzmann, Hans Scheffel, Monika Wieser, Borut Marincek, Hatem Alkadhi, Sebastian Leschka
European Radiology 2010, 20 (9): 2092-9

PURPOSE: To describe prospective ECG-triggered dual-source CT dual-step pulsing (pECG(dual_step)) for evaluation of coronary arteries and cardiac function.

METHODS: Fifty-one consecutive patients pre- or post-cardiovascular surgery were examined with adaptive sequential tube current modulated (pECG(dual-step)) 128-slice dual-source CT without heart rate control (main padding window: 40% RR interval >65 bpm/70% RR interval <65 bpm). Image quality of coronary arteries was graded (4-point scale), and cardiac function was evaluated.

RESULTS: Mean HR was 68 bpm. Thirty-seven patients were in stable sinus rhythm (SR); 14 had arrhythmia. Image quality of coronary arteries was diagnostic in 804/816 (98%) of segments. The number of non-diagnostic segments was higher in patients with arrhythmia as compared to those in SR (4% vs. 0.5%; p = 0.01), and there were fewer segments with excellent image quality (79% vs. 94%; p < 0.001) and more segments with impaired image quality (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002). Global and regional LV function could be evaluated in 41 (80%) and 47 (92%) patients, and valvular function in 48 (94%). In 11/14 of patients with arrhythmia, the second step switched to full mAs, increasing radiation exposure to 8.6 mAs (p < 0.001). The average radiation dose was 3.8 mSv (range, 1.7-7.9) in patients in SR.

CONCLUSION: pECG(dual-step)128-slice DSCT is feasible for the evaluation of coronary arteries and cardiac function without heart rate control in patients in stable sinus rhythm at a low radiation dose.

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