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High-pitch dual-source CT angiography of the whole aorta without ECG synchronisation: initial experience

Martin Beeres, Boris Schell, Aristidis Mastragelopoulos, Eva Herrmann, Josef Matthias Kerl, Tatjana Gruber-Rouh, Clara Lee, Petra Siebenhandl, Boris Bodelle, Stephan Zangos, Thomas J Vogl, Volkmar Jacobi, Ralf W Bauer
European Radiology 2012, 22 (1): 129-37
21915607

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility, image quality and radiation dose for high-pitch dual-source CT angiography (CTA) of the whole aorta without ECG synchronisation.

METHODS: Each group of 40 patients underwent CTA either on a 16-slice (group 1) or dual-source CT device with conventional single-source (group 2) or high-pitch mode with a pitch of 3.0 (group 3). The presence of motion or stair-step artefacts of the thoracic aorta was independently assessed by two readers.

RESULTS: Subjective and objective scoring of motion and artefacts were significantly reduced in the high-pitch examination protocol (p < 0.05). The imaging length was not significantly different, but the imaging time was significantly (p < 0.001) shorter in the high-pitch group (12.2 vs. 7.4 vs. 1.7 s for groups 1, 2 and 3). The ascending aorta and the coronary ostia were reliably evaluable in all patients of group 3 without motion artefacts as well.

CONCLUSION: High-pitch dual-source CT angiography of the whole aorta is feasible in unselected patients. As a significant advantage over regular pitch protocols, motion-free imaging of the aorta is possible without ECG synchronisation. Thus, this CT mode bears potential to become a standard CT protocol before trans-catheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

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