Optimal image reconstruction intervals for non-invasive coronary angiography with 64-slice CT

Leschka, Sebastian ; Husmann, Lars ; Desbiolles, Lotus ; Gaemperli, Oliver ; Schepis, Tiziano ; Koepfli, Pascal ; Boehm, Thomas ; Marincek, Borut ; Kaufmann, Philipp ; Alkadhi, Hatem

In: European Radiology, 2006, vol. 16, no. 9, p. 1964-1972

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    The reconstruction intervals providing best image quality for non-invasive coronary angiography with 64-slice computed tomography (CT) were evaluated. Contrast-enhanced, retrospectively electrocardiography (ECG)-gated 64-slice CT coronary angiography was performed in 80 patients (47 male, 33 female; mean age 62.1±10.6years). Thirteen data sets were reconstructed in 5% increments from 20 to 80% of the R-R interval. Depending on the average heart rate during scanning, patients were grouped as <65bpm (n=49) and ≥65bpm (n=31). Two blinded and independent readers assessed the image quality of each coronary segment with a diameter ≥1.5mm using the following scores: 1, no motion artifacts; 2, minor artifacts; 3, moderate artifacts; 4, severe artifacts; and 5, not evaluative. The average heart rate was 63.3±13.1bpm (range 38-102). Acceptable image quality (scores 1-3) was achieved in 99.1% of all coronary segments (1,162/1,172; mean image quality score 1.55±0.77) in the best reconstruction interval. Best image quality was found at 60% and 65% of the R-R interval for all patients and for each heart rate subgroup, whereas motion artifacts occurred significantly more often (P<0.01) at other reconstruction intervals. At heart rates <65bpm, acceptable image quality was found in all coronary segments at 60%. At heart rates ≥65bpm, the whole coronary artery tree could be visualized with acceptable image quality in 87% (27/31) of the patients at 60%, while ten segments in four patients were rated as non-diagnostic (scores 4-5) at any reconstruction interval. In conclusion, 64-slice CT coronary angiography provides best overall image quality in mid-diastole. At heart rates <65bpm, diagnostic image quality of all coronary segments can be obtained at a single reconstruction interval of 60%