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J Nucl Cardiol. 2005 Nov-Dec;12(6):703-13.

Current and future status on cardiac computed tomography imaging for diagnosis and risk stratification.

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Medizinische Klinik 2 (Kardiologie, Angiologie), Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany.


Computed tomography (CT) permits cross-sectional imaging with high spatial resolution and has, during the past years, undergone tremendous development mainly concerning the temporal resolution. By use of multidetector spiral technology, as well as electrocardiography-gated image acquisition and reconstruction techniques, 16- and 64-slice CT permits visualization of cardiac morphology and function. In this context, however, CT imaging does not play a major clinical role because other imaging methods (mainly echocardiography) usually provide all necessary information. Under certain conditions, multidetector CT also permits visualization of the coronary arteries. Detection of coronary calcification, as well as coronary CT angiography, can provide clinically useful information if applied to suitable patient groups. It is foreseeable that CT angiography will become part of the routine workup in some subsets of patients with suspected coronary artery disease, either alone or in combination with other imaging techniques. Among the limitations of cardiac CT are the requirement of a regular (and preferably low) heart rate, the associated x-ray exposure, and the need for an iodinated contrast agent for most applications. It is important to note that reliable and accurate results will require use of the most advanced CT scanner technology, optimal image quality, and sufficient experience in the acquisition and interpretation of cardiac CT data sets.

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