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Optimal scanning protocols of 64-slice CTA in coronary artery stents

Publication
Philips CT Clinical Science Philips Healthcare

An in vitro phantom study

Almutairi AM, Sun Z, Ng C, Al-Safran ZA, Al-Mulla AA, Al-Jamaan AI.

Discipline of Medical Imaging, Department of Imaging and Applied Physics, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia z.sun@curtin.edu.au

* Originally published online February 23, 2009 in the European Journal of Radiology.
Purpose
The purpose of the study was to investigate the optimal scanning protocol of 64-slice CT angiography for assessment of coronary artery stents based on a phantom study.

Materials and methods
Coronary stents with a diameter of 2.5 mm were implanted in thin plastic tubes with an inner diameter of 3.0 mm to simulate a coronary artery. The tubes were filled with iodinated  contrast medium diluted to 178 HU, closed at both ends and positioned in a plastic container filled with vegetable oil (-70 to -100 HU). A series of scans were performed with a 64-slice CT scanner with the following protocols: section thickness: 0.67 mm, 1.0 mm, 1.5 mm, 2.0 mm, pitch value: 0.2, 0.3, 0.5 and reconstruction interval of 50% overlap of the section thickness. 2D axial and multiplanar reformatted images were generated to assess the visibility of stent lumen, while virtual intravascular endoscopy (VIE) was reconstructed to evaluate the artery wall and stent surface.

Results
Our results showed that a scanning protocol of 1.0 mm slice thickness with a pitch of 0.3 produced acceptable images with best demonstration of the intrastent lumen and stent surface with minimal image noise or artifacts. In contrast, submillimeter scans with 0.67 mm resulted in moderate artifacts which affected visualization of the coronary lumen, in addition to the increased noise. When the section thickness increased to 1.5 mm and 2.0 mm, visualization of the artery wall and stent surface was compromised, although the intrastent lumen was still visible.

Conclusion
Our in vitro study suggested that a scanning protocol of 1.0 mm section thickness with pitch of 0.3 is the optimal protocol for evaluation of coronary artery stents as it allows generation of acceptable images with better visualization of stent lumen, stent surface and coronary artery wall.
For more information about this publication, check out the PubMed listing for this article.


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Publication
Brilliance 64-channel
Cardiac, coronary angiography, coronary arteries, coronary artery disease, phantom, retrospective, stent, Vascular
 

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