The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of image acquisition settings and patients’ characteristics on image quality and radiation dose for coronary angiography by 320-row computed tomography (CT). CORE320 is a prospective study to investigate the diagnostic performance of 320-detector CT for detecting coronary artery disease and associated myocardial ischemia. A run-in phase in 65 subjects was conducted to test the adequacy of the computed tomography angiography (CTA) acquisition protocol. Tube current, exposure window, and number of cardiac beats per acquisition were adjusted according to subjects’ gender, heart rate, and body mass index (BMI). Main outcome measures were image quality, assessed by contrast/noise measurements and qualitatively on a 4-point scale, and radiation dose, estimated by the dose-length-product. Average heart rate at image acquisition was 55.0±7.3 bpm. Median Agatston calcium score was 27.0 (interquartile range 1-330). All scans were prospectively triggered. Single heart beat image acquisition was obtained in 61 of 65 studies (94%). Sixtyone studies (94%) and 437 of 455 arterial segments (96%) were of diagnostic image quality. Estimated radiation dose was significantly greater in obese (5.3±0.4 mSv) than normal weight (4.6±0.3 mSv) or overweight (4.7±0.3 mSv) subjects (P<0.001). BMI was the strongest factor influencing image quality (odds ratio=1.457, P=0.005). The CORE320 CTA image acquisition protocol achieved a good balance between image quality and radiation dose for a 320-detector CT system. However, image quality in obese subjects was reduced compared to normal weight subjects, possibly due to tube voltage/current restrictions mandated by the study protocol.
CT angiography, image acquisition, image quality, radiation dose, body mass index, contrast to noise ratio.
Armin Arbab-Zadeh MD PhD, Associate Director, Cardiac CT, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Division of Cardiology, 600N. Wolfe St., Blalock 524, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Tel. +1.410.502.0549 – Fax +1.443.287.6624. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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