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Eur Radiol. 2009 Oct;19(10):2363-72. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1419-1. Epub 2009 May 9.

Prospective ECG-triggered axial CT at 140-kV tube voltage improves coronary in-stent restenosis visibility at a lower radiation dose compared with conventional retrospective ECG-gated helical CT.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Radiology, Hiroshima University Hospital, 1-2-3, Kasumi-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, 734-8551, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to compare coronary 64-slice CT angiography (CTA) protocols, specifically prospective electrocardiograph (ECG)-triggered and retrospective ECG-gated CT acquisition performed using a tube voltage of 140 kV and 120 kV, regarding intracoronary stent imaging. Coronary artery stents (n = 12) with artificial in-stent restenosis (50% luminal reduction, 40 HU) on a cardiac phantom were examined by CT at heart rates of 50-75 beats per minute (bpm). The subjective visibility of in-stent restenosis was evaluated with a three-point scale (1 clearly visible, 2 visible, and 3 not visible), and artificial lumen narrowing [(inner stent diameter - measured lumen diameter)/inner stent diameter], lumen attenuation increase ratio [(in-stent attenuation - coronary lumen attenuation)/coronary lumen attenuation], and signal-to-noise ratio of in-stent lumen were determined. The effective dose was estimated. The artificial lumen narrowing (mean 43%), the increase of lumen attenuation (mean 46%), and signal-to-noise ratio (mean 7.8) were not different between CT acquisitions (p = 0.12-0.91). However, the visibility scores of in-stent restenosis were different (p < 0.05) between ECG-gated CTA techniques: (a) 140-kV prospective (effective dose 4.6 mSv), 1.6; (b) 120-kV prospective (3.3 mSv), 1.8; (c) 140-kV retrospective (16.4-18.8 mSv), 1.9; and (d) 120-kV retrospective (11.0-13.4 mSv), 1.9. Thus, 140-kV prospective ECG-triggered CTA improves coronary in-stent restenosis visibility at a lower radiation dose compared with retrospective ECG-gated CTA.

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