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Eur J Radiol. 2010 Apr;74(1):182-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.03.001. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Predictors of image quality of coronary computed tomography in the acute care setting of patients with chest pain.

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  • 1Cardiac MR PET CT Program, Department of Radiology and Division of Cardiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to determine predictors of image quality in consecutive patients who underwent coronary computed tomography (CT) for the evaluation of acute chest pain.

METHOD AND MATERIALS:

We prospectively enrolled patients who presented with chest pain to the emergency department. All subjects underwent contrast-enhanced 64-slice coronary multi-detector CT. Two experienced readers determined overall image quality on a per-patient basis and the prevalence and characteristics of non-evaluable coronary segments on a per-segment basis.

RESULTS:

Among 378 subjects (143 women, age: 52.9+/-11.8 years), 345 (91%) had acceptable overall image quality, while 33 (9%) had poor image quality or were unreadable. In adjusted analysis, patients with diabetes, hypertension and a higher heart rate during the scan were more likely to have exams graded as poor or unreadable (odds ratio [OR]: 2.94, p=0.02; OR: 2.62, p=0.03; OR: 1.43, p=0.02; respectively). Of 6253 coronary segments, 257 (4%) were non-evaluable, most due to severe calcification in combination with motion (35%). The presence of non-evaluable coronary segments was associated with age (OR: 1.08 annually, 95%-confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-1.12, p<0.001), baseline heart rate (OR: 1.35 per 10 beats/min, 95%-CI: 1.11-1.67, p=0.003), diabetes, hypertension, and history of coronary artery disease (OR: 4.43, 95%-CI: 1.93-10.17, p<0.001; OR: 2.27, 95-CI: 1.01-4.73, p=0.03; OR: 5.12, 95%-CI: 2.0-13.06, p<0.001; respectively).

CONCLUSION:

Coronary CT permits acceptable image quality in more than 90% of patients with chest pain. Patients with multiple risk factors are more likely to have impaired image quality or non-evaluable coronary segments. These patients may require careful patient preparation and optimization of CT scanning protocols.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
19346094
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3719970
Free PMC Article
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