High-pitch coronary CT angiography with third generation dual-source CT: limits of heart rate
Journal Paper/Review - May 11, 2014
Gordic Sonja, Husarik Daniela B, Desbiolles Lotus, Leschka Sebastian, Frauenfelder Thomas, Alkadhi Hatem
To determine the average heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) required for diagnostic imaging of the coronary arteries in patients undergoing high-pitch CT-angiography (CTA) with third-generation dual-source CT. Fifty consecutive patients underwent CTA of the thoracic (n = 8) and thoracoabdominal (n = 42) aorta with third-generation dual-source 192-slice CT with prospective electrocardiography (ECG)-gating at a pitch of 3.2. No β-blockers were administered. Motion artifacts of coronary arteries were graded on a 4-point scale. Average HR and HRV were noted. The average HR was 66 ± 11 beats per minute (bpm) (range 45-96 bpm); the HRV was 7.3 ± 4.4 bpm (range 3-20 bpm). Interobserver agreement on grade of image quality for the 642 coronary segments evaluated by both observers was good (κ = 0.71). Diagnostic image quality was found for 608 of the 642 segments (95%) in 43 of 50 patients (86%). In 14% of the patients, image quality was nondiagnostic for at least one segment. HR (p = 0.001) was significantly higher in patients with at least one non-diagnostic segment compared to those without. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in HRV between patients with nondiagnostic segments and those with diagnostic images of all segments. All patients with a HR < 70 bpm had diagnostic image quality in all coronary segments. The effective radiation dose and scan time for the heart were 0.4 ± 0.1 mSv and 0.17 ± 0.02 s, respectively. Third-generation dual-source 192-slice CT allows for coronary angiography in the prospectively ECG-gated high-pitch mode with diagnostic image quality at HR up to 70 bpm. HRV is not significantly related to image quality of coronary CTA.