Do segmented reconstruction algorithms for cardiac multi-slice computed tomography improve image quality?
ABSTRACT To evaluate segmented reconstruction algorithms for spiral multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) that use data from two cardiac cycles to improve temporal resolution (tau) for imaging of the heart.
An initial group of 78 cardiac patients (heart rates [HR] = 63-167 beats per minute [bpm]) were imaged on a 4-slice, 500 ms gantry rotation time scanner (scanner 1). Images were reconstructed with a single-segment algorithm using data from one cardiac cycle with a reconstruction window of fixed length (tau = 250 ms). Images were also reconstructed with two variants of a multi-segment algorithm using data from two cardiac cycles where only one end of the reconstruction window was fixed and the other end was freely moveable to allow adjustment of tau according to HR: (1) "2-segment fixed start" with fixed start of reconstruction, (2) "2-segment fixed end" with fixed end of reconstruction (for both, tau = 125-250 ms). The resulting image sets were ranked from best to worst (1-3, respectively) in a side-by-side, blinded comparison by two independent readers. A second group of 26 patients (HR = 74-90 bpm) were imaged on a 12-slice, 420 ms gantry rotation time scanner (scanner 2). Data were reconstructed with a single-segment algorithm (tau = 210 ms) and a "2-segment fixed start" algorithm (tau = 105-210 ms) and image sets were ranked from best to worst (1-2, respectively).
There was no clear evidence that any one technique is superior for imaging on scanner 1. Reader 1 ranked single-segment images the highest for all HRs, but statistically significant differences among the three algorithms were only found for the lowest HRs (< 80 bpm), where reader 1 preferred single-segment over "2-segment fixed end" techniques (p = 0.048). The highest rankings given by reader 2 varied according to HR: single-segment images were superior for lowest HRs, while "2-segment fixed start" images were superior for HRs > 80 bpm; none of these comparisons reached statistical significance. Improved performance of 2-segment reconstruction was found with scanner 2. Both readers ranked "2-segment fixed start" images the highest (p < 0.01).
The added value of 2-segment cardiac reconstruction algorithms for spiral MSCT was not demonstrated for a 4-slice, 500 ms gantry rotation time scanner but shown to be beneficial for a 12-slice, 420 ms gantry rotation time scanner in the crucial HR range of 74-90 bpm.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effectiveness of electrocardiographically (ECG)-gated retrospective image reconstruction for multi-detector row computed tomographic (CT) coronary angiography in reducing cardiac motion artifacts and to evaluate the influence of heart rate on cardiac image quality. Sixty-five patients with different heart rates underwent coronary CT angiography. Raw helical CT data and ECG tracings were combined to retrospectively reconstruct at the defined consecutive z position with a temporal resolution of 250 msec per section. The starting points of the reconstruction were chosen between 30% and 80% of the R-R intervals. The relationships between heart rate, trigger delay, and image quality were analyzed. Optimal image quality was achieved with a 50% trigger delay for the right coronary artery and 60% for the left circumflex coronary artery. Optimal image quality for the left anterior descending coronary artery was equally obtained at 50% and 60% triggering. A significant negative correlation was observed between heart rate and image quality (P <.05). The best image quality was achieved when the heart rate was less than 74.5 beats per minute. To achieve high image quality, the heart rate should be sufficiently slow. Selection of appropriate trigger delays and a decreasing heart rate are effective to reduce cardiac motion artifacts.Radiology 10/2001; 220(3):712-7. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The recent advent of multislice-scanning is the first real quantum leap in computed tomography since the introduction of spiral CT in the early 90s. We discuss basic theoretical considerations important for the design of multislice scanners. Then, specific issues, like the design of the detector and spiral interpolation schemes are addressed briefly for the SOMATOM PLUS 4 Volume Zoom. The theoretical concepts are validated with phantom measurements. We finally show the large potential of the new technology for clinical applications. The concurrent acquisition of multiple slices results in a dramatic reduction of scan time for a given scan technique. This allows scanning volumes previously inaccessible. Similarly, given volumes can be scanned at narrower collimation, i.e. higher axial resolution in a given time. From data acquired at narrow collimation, both high-resolution studies and standard images can be reconstructed in the so-called Combi-Mode. This on the one hand reduces dose exposure to the patient because repeated scanning of a patient is no longer required. On the other hand, standard reconstructions benefit from narrow collimation as Partial Volume Artifacts are drastically suppressed. The rotational speed of 0.5 s of the SOMATOM PLUS 4 Volume Zoom furthermore opens up a whole range of new applications in cardiac CT. For the first time, virtually motion-free images can be acquired even for large volumes in a single breathhold by the combination of fast rotation and ECG triggering, respectively gating. We explain the underlying concepts and present initial results. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the impact of the new technique on image display and postprocessing.European Journal of Radiology 09/1999; 31(2):110-24. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the impact of heart rate on the diagnostic accuracy of coronary angiography by multislice spiral computed tomography (MSCT). Prospective observational study. 78 patients who underwent both conventional and MSCT coronary angiography for suspicion of de novo coronary artery disease (n=53) or recurrent coronary artery disease after percutaneous intervention (n=25). Tertiary referral centre. Intravenously contrast enhanced MSCT coronary angiography was done during a single breath hold, and ECG synchronised images were reconstructed retrospectively. All coronary segments of > or = 2.0 mm without stents were evaluated by two investigators and compared with quantitative coronary angiography. Patients were classified according to the average heart rate (mean (SD)) into three equally sized groups: group 1, 55.8 (4.1) beats/min; group 2, 66.6 (2.8) beats/min; group 3, 81.7 (8.8) beats/min. Image quality was sufficient for analysis in 78% of the coronary segments in patients in group 1, 73% in group 2, and 54% in group 3 (p < 0.01). The sensitivity and specificity for detecting significant stenoses (> or = 50% lumen reduction) in these assessable segments were: 97% (95% confidence interval (CI) 84% to 100%) and 96% in group 1; 74% (52% to 89%) and 94% in group 2; and 67% (33% to 90%) and 94% in group 3 (p < 0.05). Accounting for all segments of > or = 2.0 mm, including lesions in non-assessable segments as false negatives, the sensitivity decreased to 82% (28/34 lesions, 95% CI 69% to 91%), 61% (14/23 lesions, 42% to 77%), and 32% (6/19 lesions, 15% to 50%), respectively (p < 0.01). MSCT allows reliable coronary angiography in patients with low heart rates.Heart (British Cardiac Society) 11/2002; 88(5):470-4. · 5.01 Impact Factor