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Eur Radiol. 2010 Nov;20(11):2565-71. doi: 10.1007/s00330-010-1838-z. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

High-pitch dual-source CT coronary angiography: systolic data acquisition at high heart rates.

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Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.



To assess the effect of systolic data acquisition for electrocardiography (ECG)-triggered high-pitch computed tomography (CT) on motion artefacts of coronary arteries in patients with high heart rates (HRs).


Eighty consecutive patients (15 women, age 67 ± 14 years) with HR ≥ 70 bpm underwent CT angiography of the thoracic aorta (CTA) on 128-slice dual-source CT in ECG-triggered high-pitch acquisition mode (pitch = 3.2) set at 60% (group A, n = 40) or 30% (group B, n = 40) of the RR interval. Two blinded readers graded coronary artery image quality on a three-point scale. Radiation doses were calculated.


Inter-observer agreement in grading image quality of the 1,154 coronary segments was good (κ = 0.62). HRs were similar in groups A and B (85 ± 13 bpm vs 85 ± 14 bpm, p not significant). Significantly fewer coronary segments with non-diagnostic image quality occurred (i.e. score 3) in group B than in group A [2.8% (16/579) vs 8.3% (48/575), p < 0.001]. Seventeen patients (42.5%) of group A and 12 patients (30.0%) of group B had at least one non-diagnostic segment. Effective radiation doses were 2.3 ± 0.3 mSv for chest CTA.


A systolic acquisition window for high-pitch dual-source CTA in patients with high HRs (≥ 70 bpm) significantly improves coronary artery image quality at a low radiation dose.

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