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Can J Cardiol. 2009 Nov;25(11):641-7.

Evaluation of coronary atheroma by 64-slice multidetector computed tomography: Comparison with intravascular ultrasound and angiography.

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Montreal Heart Institute, Montreal, Canada.



Recent improvements in multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) with 64-slice scanners have allowed acquisition of a coronary study in 5 s to 6 s, with good temporal and spatial resolution. Previous studies have reported an underestimation of plaque burden by MDCT. Whether shorter scan times can allow correct assessment of plaque volume requires comparison with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).


Patients (n=30) scheduled for coronary angiography also underwent MDCT and IVUS examinations within 96 h. MDCT examination was performed with a 64-slice scanner. Nitroglycerin was administered before all imaging procedures. MDCT, quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) and IVUS analyses were performed by observers blinded to other results. Plaque volumes were determined by MDCT and IVUS in one vessel, and maximum percentage diameter stenosis was identified in each coronary segment by MDCT and QCA.


The mean (+ or - SD) plaque volume was determined to be 179.1 + or - 78.9 mm(3) by MDCT and 176.1 + or - 87.9 mm(3) by IVUS. There was a strong positive correlation for plaque volume between MDCT and IVUS (r=0.84, P<0.0001). Percentage diameter stenosis assessed by MDCT and QCA also correlated well (r=0.88 per patient and r=0.87 per vessel, P<0.0001 for both). The maximum percentage diameter stenosis per vessel was 38.1 + or - 30.2% with MDCT and 34.1 + or - 27.6% with QCA. The sensitivity and specificity of MDCT in detecting stenoses above 50% per vessel were 100% and 91.0%, respectively.


Plaque volumes measured by 64-slice MDCT and IVUS correlate well, without systematic underestimation. The sensitivity and specificity of MDCT to detect stenoses greater than 50% by QCA are excellent with the administration of nitroglycerin before imaging.

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