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J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2009 Nov-Dec;3(6):361-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Oct 30.

Noncardiac findings on cardiac CT. Part II: spectrum of imaging findings.

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1
Department of Radiology, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Abstract

Cardiac computed tomography (CT) has evolved into an effective imaging technique for the evaluation of coronary artery disease in selected patients. Two distinct advantages over other noninvasive cardiac imaging methods include its ability to directly evaluate the coronary arteries and to provide a unique opportunity to evaluate for alternative diagnoses by assessing the extracardiac structures, such as the lungs and mediastinum, particularly in patients presenting with the chief symptom of acute chest pain. Some centers reconstruct a small field of view (FOV) cropped around the heart but a full FOV (from skin to skin in the area irradiated) is obtainable in the raw data of every scan so that clinically relevant noncardiac findings are identifiable. Debate in the scientific community has centered on the necessity for this large FOV. A review of noncardiac structures provides the opportunity to make alternative diagnoses that may account for the patient's presentation or to detect important but clinically silent problems such as lung cancer. Critics argue that the yield of biopsy-proven cancers is low and that the follow-up of incidental noncardiac findings is expensive, resulting in increased radiation exposure and possibly unnecessary further testing. In this 2-part review we outline the issues surrounding the concept of the noncardiac read, looking for noncardiac findings on cardiac CT. Part I focused on the pros and cons for and against the practice of identifying noncardiac findings on cardiac CT. Part II illustrates the imaging spectrum of cardiac CT appearances of benign and malignant noncardiac pathology.

PMID:
20083055
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcct.2009.10.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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