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Pol J Radiol. 2016 Nov 25;81:566-571. eCollection 2016.

Utility of Electrocardiography (ECG)-Gated Computed Tomography (CT) for Preoperative Evaluations of Thymic Epithelial Tumors.

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Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan.
Department of Radiology, Nagoya City West Medical Center, Nagoya, Japan.



Preoperative evaluation of invasion to the adjacent organs is important for the thymic epithelial tumors on CT. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the utility of electrocardiography (ECG)-gated CT for assessing thymic epithelial tumors with regard to the motion artifacts produced and the preoperative diagnostic accuracy of the technique.


Forty thymic epithelial tumors (36 thymomas and 4 thymic carcinomas) were examined with ECG-gated contrast-enhanced CT using a dual source scanner. The scan delay after the contrast media injection was 30 s for the non-ECG-gated CT and 100 s for the ECG-gated CT. Two radiologists blindly evaluated both the non-ECG-gated and ECG-gated CT images for motion artifacts and determined whether the tumors had invaded adjacent structures (mediastinal fat, superior vena cava, brachiocephalic veins, aorta, pulmonary artery, pericardium, or lungs) on each image. Motion artifacts were evaluated using a 3-grade scale. Surgical and pathological findings were used as a reference standard for tumor invasion.


Motion artifacts were significantly reduced for all structures by ECG gating (p=0.0089 for the lungs and p<0.0001 for the other structures). Non-ECG-gated CT and ECG-gated CT demonstrated 79% and 95% accuracy, respectively, during assessments of pericardial invasion (p=0.03).


ECG-gated CT reduced the severity of motion artifacts and might be useful for preoperative assessment whether thymic epithelial tumors have invaded adjacent structures.


Artifacts; Mediastinum; Thymoma

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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