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Rofo. 2005 Jul;177(7):946-54.

[Surgery for congestive heart failure--the role of computed tomography in the pre- and postoperative diagnostic evaluation].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Radiologie, Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charité Campus Mitte, Berlin.


The treatment of advanced, drug resistant congestive heart failure gains in importance in the field of cardiac surgery. Cardiac imaging for preoperative assessment and follow-up focuses on the determination of ventricular volumes and function as well as on the detection of postoperative complications. Computed tomography (CT) is highly accurate irrespective of the individual patient's anatomic situation, has a low examiner dependence and short examination time, does not require an arterial vascular access and can be performed in patients with metal implants. CT is the modality of choice in the follow-up of heart transplants to detect extracardiac and cardiac complications including coronary calcifications as an early sign of transplant vasculopathy. In addition, CT visualizes the elements of mechanical assist devices and can identify their possible local cardiac and mediastinal complications. CT can detect fibrolipomatous involution of the mobilized muscle flap in dynamic cardiomyoplasty and can depict fibrous reactions along the epicardial mesh implant in passive cardiac containment. Further indications include assessment of typical local postoperative complications, such as intrathoracic infection and mediastinal bleeding, intracardiac thrombus formation or pericardial effusion. CT is routinely used for evaluating bypass patency but is limited in assessing associated valve defects since it does not visualize flow.

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