Coronary CT angiography in step-and-shoot technique with 256-slice CT: impact of the field of view on image quality, craniocaudal coverage, and radiation exposure

Daniela Muenzel, Peter B Noel, Franziska Dorn, Martin Dobritz, Ernst J Rummeny, Armin Huber
European Journal of Radiology 2012, 81 (7): 1562-8

PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of a small field of view (FOV) for step-and-shoot coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) on craniocaudal z-coverage per scan step, image quality, and radiation exposure.

METHODS: 53 patients underwent prospectively ECG-gated CCTA on a 256-slice MDCT scanner using either a FOV > 250 mm (group 1, n = 29) or a FOV ≤ 250 mm (group 2, n = 24). Craniocaudal z-coverage was determined on coronal multiplanar reformations. Image noise, signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio, and qualitative image parameters were assessed. Radiation dose was estimated from the dose length product and was standardized for a scan range from the main pulmonary artery to the diaphragm in order to make both groups comparable.

RESULTS: Diagnostic image quality was achieved in 91.3% of the coronary artery segments of group 1 and 89.9% in group 2 (p = 0.201). There were no major differences in image noise, SNR, and CNR between both groups. A smaller FOV leads to an increase of craniocaudal coverage of a single CT scan step (r = -0.879; p ≤ 0.001). There was an increase of 23.8% of the mean z-coverage per scanned subvolume in group 2 (59.9 mm vs. 48.8mm). Radiation dose was significantly lower in group 2 (229 vs. 285 mGy cm, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The use of a small transverse FOV for step-and-shoot CCTA at a wide detector CT scanner leads to an increased z-coverage. 2 scan volumes are enough to image the cardiac anatomy. Radiation dose is decreased without negative impact on image quality.

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