Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) permits visualization of the coronary arteries, but limited spatial and temporal resolution can lead to artifacts. We quantitatively evaluated the image quality that can be obtained with the latest generation of MDCT scanners with submillimeter collimation and increased gantry rotation speed. Thirty patients with angiographically proved absence of significant coronary artery stenoses (mean age 56 ± 13 years, mean heart rate 62 ± 13 beats/min) were studied by MDCT (12 × 0.75 mm collimation, 420-ms tube rotation, 210-ms temporal resolution, 500 mA, 120 kVp, retrospective electrocardiographic gating). In multiplanar reconstructions of the 4 major coronary arteries (left main, left anterior descending, left circumflex, and right coronary artery), the overall visualized vessel length and the length of segments without motion artifacts were measured. Vessel diameters at 8 predefined locations were measured in MDCT maximum intensity projections and in corresponding invasive angiograms. The mean lengths of visualized coronary arteries were left main 13 ± 6 mm, left anterior descending 138 ± 39 mm, left circumflex 84 ± 34 mm, and right coronary artery 155 ± 41 mm. On average, 93 ± 13% of the total visualized vessel length was depicted without motion artifacts (left main 100 ± 0%, left anterior descending 93 ± 12%, left circumflex 91 ± 17%, and right coronary artery 87 ± 14%). The percentage of vessel length visualized free of motion artifacts was significantly higher in patients with a heart rate ≤60 beats/min compared with patients with a heart rate >60 beats/min (96 ± 8% vs 89 ± 17%, p <0.05). Vessel diameters in MDCT correlated closely to quantitative coronary angiography (R2 0.83 to 0.87). In conclusion, MDCT with submillimeter collimation and improved temporal resolution permits reliable visualization of the vessel lumen and accurate measurements of vessel dimensions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine