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Eur Radiol. 2009 Jan;19(1):42-9. doi: 10.1007/s00330-008-1132-5. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Update on multidetector coronary CT angiography of coronary stents: in vitro evaluation of 29 different stent types with dual-source CT.

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Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany.


The aim of this study was to test a large sample of the latest coronary artery stents using four image reconstruction approaches with respect to lumen visualization, lumen attenuation, and image noise in dual-source multidetector row CT (DSCT) in vitro and to provide a CT catalogue of currently used coronary artery stents. Twenty-nine different coronary artery stents (19 steel, 6 cobalt-chromium, 2 tantalum, 1 iron, 1 magnesium) were examined in a coronary artery phantom (vessel diameter 3 mm, intravascular attenuation 250 HU, extravascular density -70 HU). Stents were imaged in axial orientation with standard parameters: 32 x 0.6 collimation, pitch 0.24, 400 mAs, 120 kV, rotation time 0.33 s. Image reconstructions were obtained with four different convolution kernels (soft, medium-soft, standard high-resolution, stent-dedicated). To evaluate visualization characteristics of the stent, the lumen diameter, intraluminal density, and noise were measured. The stent-dedicated kernel offered best average lumen visualization (54 +/- 8.3%) and most realistic lumen attenuation (222 +/- 44 HU) at the expense of increased noise (23.9 +/- 1.9 HU) compared with standard CTA protocols (p < 0.001 for all). The magnesium stent showed the least artifacts with a lumen visibility of 90%. The majority of stents (79%) exhibited a lumen visibility of 50-59%. Less than half of the stent lumen was visible in only six stents. Stent lumen visibility largely varies depending on the stent type. Magnesium is by far more favorable a stent material with regard to CT imaging when compared with the more common materials steel, cobalt-chromium, or tantalum. The magnesium stent exhibits a lumen visibility of 90%, whereas the majority of the other stents exhibit a lumen visibility of 50-59%.

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