Comparison of 64-slice multidetector computed tomography with spectral analysis of intravascular ultrasound backscatter signals for characterizations of noncalcified coronary arterial plaques.
ABSTRACT In vivo identification of plaque composition may allow the detection of vulnerable plaques before rupture. However, the clinical relevance of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in characterizing coronary plaques is currently a subject of debate. We compared 64-slice MDCT with virtual histology to investigate the potential role of 64-slice MDCT in the differentiation of composition of noncalcified coronary plaques. Fifty-nine consecutive patients (stable/unstable angina 34/21) were enrolled. Mean computed tomographic (CT) density (Hounsfield units) of noncalcified coronary plaques (n = 80) was compared with a relative volume of each plaque component (fibrous, fibrofatty, calcium, and necrotic core) analyzed by virtual histology. Mean heart rate during MDCT was 58 +/- 9 beats/min. There was a negative correlation between mean CT density and the necrotic core (r = -0.539, p <0.001) and a positive correlation between mean CT density and the fibrotic tissue component (r = 0.571, p <0.001). Mean CT density of the plaques with a <10% necrotic core was significantly higher than that of a >or=10% necrotic core (93.1 +/- 37.5 vs 41.3 +/- 26.4 HU, p <0.001). However, overlapping of mean CT densities between plaques with a <10% necrotic core and those with a >or=10% necrotic core was found. In conclusion, mean CT density of noncalcified coronary plaques measured by 64-slice MDCT may depend on the relative volumes of the necrotic core and fibrotic component. Sixty-four-slice MDCT may have the potential for determining composition of noncalcified coronary plaques, which needs further studies for clinical application.
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ABSTRACT: Clinical progress by the development of multi-slice CT (MSCT) technology beyond 16 slices can more likely be expected from further improved spatial and temporal resolution rather than from a mere increase in the volume coverage speed. We present an evaluation of a recently introduced 64-slice CT (64SCT) system, which makes use of a periodic motion of the focal spot in the longitudinal direction (z-flying focal spot) to double the number of simultaneously acquired slices. A recently introduced 64SCT system (SOMATOM Sensation 64, Siemens Medical Solutions, Forchheim, Germany) is being described and tested in first clinical practice, applying the following parameters: z-flying focal spot technology, 64 x 0.6 mm slices; spatial resolution, 0.4 x 0.4 x 0.4 mm; gantry rotation time, 330 ms; temporal resolution, 83-165 ms. Various phantom studies and first clinically implemented protocols are being described, to evaluate the full spectrum of possible applications for this scanner type, with a focus on cardiac imaging. ECG-gated cardiac scanning with this 64-slice CT system benefits clearly from both the improved temporal resolution and improved spatial resolution. These benefits enable a more reliable assessment of mixed plaques, due to reduced partial-voluming and beam-hardening artefacts caused by calcifications, and holds great promise for the reliable assessment of in-stent stenoses, as stent lumen visibility is clearly improved as compared to earlier MSCT systems. With the increased volume coverage and acquisition speed of the 64SCT system, a comprehensive emergency protocol of the thorax becomes feasible within an acceptable breath-hold time, performing an ECG-gated CT angiography of the complete thoracic vasculature. This protocol enables a detailed assessment of the thoracic aorta, the pulmonary arteries and the coronary arteries in one single examination. 64SCT Cardiac imaging provides an increased spatial resolution with an isotropic voxel size of 0.4 mm and an improved temporal resolution of 83-165 ms. These benefits hold great promise especially for fast-moving organs requiring detailed imaging, such as the heart and coronary arteries.The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging 01/2005; 20(6):535-40. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multi-detector row Computed Tomography (MDCT) permits non-invasive visualization of the coronary arteries. The ability to visualize and, with limitations, to characterize non-calcified coronary atherosclerotic plaque has been described. We investigated the CT attenuation of non-calcified plaques as determined by 16-slice MDCT in comparison to intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were investigated by contrast-enhanced 16-slice CT. In addition, IVUS of one coronary artery (motorized pullback) was performed (LM+LAD: 22, LM+LCX: 4, RCA: 6). At 252 sites within the coronary system, in which non-calcified atherosclerotic plaque could be identified both in MDCT and IVUS, the CT attenuation within the plaque was measured using a centrally placed region of interest and correlated to the appearance of the plaque in IVUS at the corresponding location. The mean CT attenuation within plaque that corresponded to hyper-echogenic appearance in IVUS was 121+/-34HU (n=76). The mean CT attenuation within plaque that corresponded to hypo-echogenic appearance was 58+/-43HU (n=176, p<0.001). However, there was substantial overlap of the density values measured by MDCT in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: A significant difference of the mean CT attenuation within atherosclerotic lesions of hypo-echogenic and hyper-echogenic appearance in IVUS could be observed. However, we observed substantial overlap of attenuation values between plaque types so that the differentiation of "vulnerable" and "stable" plaques based on their CT attenuation is doubtful.Atherosclerosis 02/2007; 190(1):174-80. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Clinical studies indicate that coronary plaque morphology might be differentiated noninvasively using multislice CT by determining tissue density within the lesions. The aim of the present experimental study was to evaluate factors that influence density measurements within small vessels. A coronary phantom model was developed, consisting of silicon tubes (lumen diameter 4 mm) with two plaques of known density inside, simulating soft and intermediate lesions (Plaque 1: -39 HU; Plaque 2: 72 HU). Density measurement were conducted in three different contrast medium concentrations (1:30, 1:40, 1:50) and two different slice widths (4 x 2.5 mm, 4 x 1 mm). All scans were performed on a Somatom Volume Zoom (Siemens, Forchheim, Germany). Experimental results were compared with calculated data based on computer simulation. The two plaques could be clearly differentiated from each other on both collimations (4 x 2.5 mm: Plaque 1, 85 +/- 61 HU vs. Plaque 2, 119 +/- 26 HU, p < 0.0001; 4 x 1 mm: Plaque 1, 50 +/- 54 HU vs. Plaque 2, 91 +/- 17 HU, p < 0.0001). Significantly lower and more accurate results were achieved with 1.0 mm collimation (p < 0.0001). Contrast medium concentration contributed significantly to the measurements (p < 0.001). The experimental findings were confirmed by computer simulation, which revealed even more accurate results when using a 0.5 mm collimation (Plaque 1, 0.5 mm: -9 HU vs. 4 x 1 mm: 14 HU, Plaque 2, 4 x 0.5 mm: 83 HU vs. 4 x 1 mm: 93 HU). Density measurements were found to be highly dependent on slice width and surrounding contrast enhancement. Our results indicate that standardization of methodology is required before the noninvasive differentiation of human plaque morphology by multislice CT can be applied in the clinical setting as a screening test for coronary soft plaques.Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography 25(6):900-6. · 1.58 Impact Factor