Multislice Spiral Computed Tomography in Cardiac Imaging

C Hong, C Becker, R Bruening, MF Reiser

Hong Kong J Radiol 2001;4:252-8

Objective: Multislice computed tomography is an emerging technology with the potential for non-invasive coronary investigation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and limitations of multislice computed tomography in the detection of coronary artery disease.

Patients and Methods: Multislice computed tomography was performed in symptomatic patients with atypical chest pain and in asymptomatic patients. Each patient underwent prospective electrocardiograph triggered investigation without contrast medium for screening and quantification of coronary calcifications, and retrospective electrocardiography gated multislice computed tomography angiography for visualisation of coronary artery lumen changes.

Results: Superior image quality of both axial and 3-dimensional images was achieved with multislice computed tomography in patients with slower heart rates and those in regular sinus rhythm. Greatly improved image quality in obese patients, allowed for reliable quantification of coronary calcifications. With multislice computed tomography angiography, good image quality was achieved in patients with a heart rate of less than 70 beats per minute.

Conclusion: Multislice computed tomography appears of benefit in the non-invasive assessment of coronary artery disease, despite its use being currently limited by the exposure time of 250 ms to patients with a slower heart rate.