Imaging the coronary arteries with CT

Author(s): Dr Hatef Mansoubi

Hospital: Western Sussex Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 41, 481, 13-16

Excerpt: 

In the 1980s CT imaging of coronary arteries began after the introduction of electron beam CT (EBCT), with the main application being quantification of calcifications in the coronary arteries for risk stratification. In the late 1990s helical multidetector row CT (MDCT), starting with the four-detector row, was used for noninvasive evaluation of suspected coronary artery disease. Initially MDCT had limited performance for visualising
coronary arteries due to long scan time, with the required breath-hold often exceeding 30 seconds. The scanners had a long rotation time with limited temporal resolution of 250ms and x-ray beam coverage of approximately 8mm (four detector rows, each of 2mm thickness), insufficient for motion-free coronary imaging. Clinical performance improved considerably with the introduction of firstly 16-detector row rapidly followed by 64-detector row CT. The new scanners could perform helical acquisition of coronary arteries within one breath-hold (less than 15 seconds), with increased x-ray beam coverage up to 40mm and reconstructed slice thickness down to 0.5mm with improved temporal resolution.

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