[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiation dose exposure is of particular concern in children due to the possible harmful effects of ionizing radiation. The adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) method is a promising new technique that reduces image noise and produces better overall image quality compared with routine-dose contrast-enhanced methods.
To assess the benefits of ASIR on the diagnostic image quality in paediatric cardiac CT examinations.
Four paediatric radiologists based at two major hospitals evaluated ten low-dose paediatric cardiac examinations (80 kVp, CTDI(vol) 4.8-7.9 mGy, DLP 37.1-178.9 mGy·cm). The average age of the cohort studied was 2.6 years (range 1 day to 7 years). Acquisitions were performed on a 64-MDCT scanner. All images were reconstructed at various ASIR percentages (0-100%). For each examination, radiologists scored 19 anatomical structures using the relative visual grading analysis method. To estimate the potential for dose reduction, acquisitions were also performed on a Catphan phantom and a paediatric phantom.
The best image quality for all clinical images was obtained with 20% and 40% ASIR (p < 0.001) whereas with ASIR above 50%, image quality significantly decreased (p < 0.001). With 100% ASIR, a strong noise-free appearance of the structures reduced image conspicuity. A potential for dose reduction of about 36% is predicted for a 2- to 3-year-old child when using 40% ASIR rather than the standard filtered back-projection method.
Reconstruction including 20% to 40% ASIR slightly improved the conspicuity of various paediatric cardiac structures in newborns and children with respect to conventional reconstruction (filtered back-projection) alone.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this work was to develop an easily applicable technique and a standardized protocol for high-quality post-mortem angiography. This protocol should (1) increase the radiological interpretation by decreasing artifacts due to the perfusion and by reaching a complete filling of the vascular system and (2) ease and standardize the execution of the examination. To this aim, 45 human corpses were investigated by post-mortem computed tomography (CT) angiography using different perfusion protocols, a modified heart-lung machine and a new contrast agent mixture, specifically developed for post-mortem investigations. The quality of the CT angiographies was evaluated radiologically by observing the filling of the vascular system and assessing the interpretability of the resulting images and by comparing radiological diagnoses to conventional autopsy conclusions. Post-mortem angiography yielded satisfactory results provided that the volumes of the injected contrast agent mixture were high enough to completely fill the vascular system. In order to avoid artifacts due to the post-mortem perfusion, a minimum of three angiographic phases and one native scan had to be performed. These findings were taken into account to develop a protocol for quality post-mortem CT angiography that minimizes the risk of radiological misinterpretation. The proposed protocol is easy applicable in a standardized way and yields high-quality radiologically interpretable visualization of the vascular system in post-mortem investigations.
Deutsche Zeitschrift für die Gesamte Gerichtliche Medizin 11/2010; 125(6):791-802. · 2.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcatheter stent-valve implantation in stenosed congenital bicuspid aortic valves is under debate. Heavily calcified elliptic bicuspid valves represent a contraindication to catheter-based valve therapies because of a risk of stent-valve displacement, distortion, or malfunctioning after the implantation. In this case report we illustrate our experience with a patient suffering from stenosed congenital bicuspid aortic valve who successfully underwent a transapical 26-mm Edwards Sapien stent-valve (Edwards Lifesciences Inc, Irvine, CA) implantation. Postoperative distortion, malfunctioning, and paravalvular leaks were not detected.
The Annals of thoracic surgery 08/2010; 90(2):630-2. · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac computed tomographic scans, coronary angiograms, and aortographies are routinely performed in transcatheter heart valve therapies. Consequently, all patients are exposed to multiple contrast injections with a following risk of nephrotoxicity and postoperative renal failure. The transapical aortic valve implantation without angiography can prevent contrast-related complications.
Between November 2008 and November 2009, 30 consecutive high-risk patients (16 female, 53.3%) underwent transapical aortic valve implantation without angiography. The landmarks identification, the stent-valve positioning, and the postoperative control were routinely performed under transesophageal echocardiogram and fluoroscopic visualization without contrast injections.
Mean age was 80.1 +/- 8.7 years. Mean valve gradient, aortic orifice area, and ejection fraction were 60.3 +/- 20.9 mm Hg, 0.7 +/- 0.16 cm(2), and 0.526 +/- 0.128, respectively. Risk factors were pulmonary hypertension (60%), peripheral vascular disease (70%), chronic pulmonary disease (50%), previous cardiac surgery (13.3%), and chronic renal insufficiency (40%) (mean blood creatinine and urea levels: 96.8 +/- 54 microg/dL and 8.45 +/- 5.15 mmol/L). Average European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation was 32.2 +/- 13.3%. Valve deployment in the ideal landing zone was 96.7% successful and valve embolization occurred once. Thirty-day mortality was 10% (3 patients). Causes of death were the following: intraoperative ventricular rupture (conversion to sternotomy), right ventricular failure, and bilateral pneumonia. Stroke occurred in one patient at postoperative day 9. Renal failure (postoperative mean blood creatinine and urea levels: 91.1 +/- 66.8 microg/dL and 7.27 +/- 3.45 mmol/L), myocardial infarction, and atrioventricular block were not detected.
Transapical aortic valve implantation without angiography requires a short learning curve and can be performed routinely by experienced teams. Our report confirms that this procedure is feasible and safe, and provides good results with low incidence of postoperative renal disorders.
The Annals of thoracic surgery 06/2010; 89(6):1925-32. · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) is a new imaging reconstruction technique recently introduced by General Electric (GE). This technique, when combined with a conventional filtered back-projection (FBP) approach, is able to improve the image noise reduction. To quantify the benefits provided on the image quality and the dose reduction by the ASIR method with respect to the pure FBP one, the standard deviation (SD), the modulation transfer function (MTF), the noise power spectrum (NPS), the image uniformity and the noise homogeneity were examined. Measurements were performed on a control quality phantom when varying the CT dose index (CTDIvol) and the reconstruction kernels. A 64-MDCT was employed and raw data were reconstructed with different percentages of ASIR on a CT console dedicated for ASIR reconstruction. Three radiologists also assessed a cardiac pediatric exam reconstructed with different ASIR percentages using the visual grading analysis (VGA) method. For the standard, soft and bone reconstruction kernels, the SD is reduced when the ASIR percentage increases up to 100% with a higher benefit for low CTDIvol. MTF medium frequencies were slightly enhanced and modifications of the NPS shape curve were observed. However for the pediatric cardiac CT exam, VGA scores indicate an upper limit of the ASIR benefit. 40% of ASIR was observed as the best trade-off between noise reduction and clinical realism of organ images. Using phantom results, 40% of ASIR corresponded to an estimated dose reduction of 30% under pediatric cardiac protocol conditions. In spite of this discrepancy between phantom and clinical results, the ASIR method is as an important option when considering the reduction of radiation dose, especially for pediatric patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently, morphometric measurements of the ascending aorta have been done with ECG-gated multidector computerized tomography (MDCT) to help the development of future novel transcatheter therapies (TCT); nevertheless, the variability of such measurements remains unknown. Thirty patients referred for ECG-gated CT thoracic angiography were evaluated. Continuous reformations of the ascending aorta, perpendicular to the centerline, were obtained automatically with a commercially available computer aided diagnosis (CAD). Then measurements of the maximal diameter were done with the CAD and manually by two observers (separately). Measurements were repeated one month later. The Bland-Altman method, Spearman coefficients, and a Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to evaluate the variability, the correlation, and the differences between observers. The interobserver variability for maximal diameter between the two observers was up to 1.2 mm with limits of agreement [-1.5, +0.9] mm; whereas the intraobserver limits were [-1.2, +1.0] mm for the first observer and [-0.8, +0.8] mm for the second observer. The intraobserver CAD variability was 0.8 mm. The correlation was good between observers and the CAD (0.980-0.986); however, significant differences do exist (P<0.001). The maximum variability observed was 1.2 mm and should be considered in reports of measurements of the ascending aorta. The CAD is as reproducible as an experienced reader.
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 11/2009; 10(2):217-21. · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Half of the patients with end-stage heart failure suffer from persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). Atrial kick (AK) accounts for 10-15% of the ejection fraction. A device restoring AK should significantly improve cardiac output (CO) and possibly delay ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation. This study has been designed to assess the mechanical effects of a motorless pump on the right chambers of the heart in an animal model.
Atripump is a dome-shaped biometal actuator electrically driven by a pacemaker-like control unit. In eight sheep, the device was sutured onto the right atrium (RA). AF was simulated with rapid atrial pacing. RA ejection fraction (EF) was assessed with intracardiac ultrasound (ICUS) in baseline, AF and assisted-AF status. In two animals, the pump was left in place for 4 weeks and then explanted. Histology examination was carried out. The mean values for single measurement per animal with +/-SD were analysed.
The contraction rate of the device was 60 per min. RA EF was 41% in baseline, 7% in AF and 21% in assisted-AF conditions. CO was 7+/-0.5 l min(-1) in baseline, 6.2+/-0.5 l min(-1) in AF and 6.7+/-0.5 l min(-1) in assisted-AF status (p<0.01). Histology of the atrium in the chronic group showed chronic tissue inflammation and no sign of tissue necrosis.
The artificial muscle restores the AK and improves CO. In patients with end-stage cardiac failure and permanent AF, if implanted on both sides, it would improve CO and possibly delay or even avoid complex surgical treatment such as VAD implantation.
European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 11/2009; 37(4):870-4. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate thoracic aortic dilation in patients with Fabry disease (FD).
A cohort of 106 patients with FD (52 males; 54 females) from three European centres were studied. The diameter of the thoracic aorta was assessed at three levels (sinus of Valsalva, ascending aorta, and descending aorta) using echocardiograms and cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. Aortic dilation at the sinus of Valsalva was found in 32.7% of males and 5.6% of females; aneurysms were present in 9.6% of males and 1.9% of females. No aortic dilation was observed in the descending aorta. There was no correlation between aortic diameter at the sinus of Valsalva and cardiovascular risk factors.
Fabry disease should be considered as a cardiovascular disease that affects the heart and arterial vasculature, including the thoracic aorta. Thus, patients with FD should be closely monitored for the presence, and possible progression and complications of aortic dilation. Clinical Trial Registration: Protocol 101/01. Ethics committee, Faculty of Medicine, Lausanne.
European Heart Journal 10/2009; 31(3):347-53. · 14.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is a rapidly emerging non-invasive imaging technique free of X-Ray and offers higher spatial resolution than alternative forms of cardiac imaging for the assessment of left ventricular (LV) anatomy, function, and viability due to the unique capability of myocardial tissue characterization after gadolinium-chelates contrast administration. This imaging technique has clinical utility over a broad spectrum of heart diseases: ranging from ischaemic to non ischaemic aetiologies. Cardiomyopathies (CMP) are a heterogeneous group of diseases of the myocardium associated with architectural abnormalities and mechanical dysfunction. CMR can help excluding coronary artery disease and can provide positive diagnostic features for several CMP resulted in better diagnosis and management, Leading to improvements in mortality.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The trans-apical aortic valve implantation (TA-AVI) is an established technique for high-risk patients requiring aortic valve replacement. Traditionally, preoperative (computed tomography (CT) scan, coronary angiogram) and intra-operative imaging (fluoroscopy) for stent-valve positioning and implantation require contrast medium injections. To preserve the renal function in elderly patients suffering from chronic renal insufficiency, a fully echo-guided trans-catheter valve implantation seems to be a reasonable alternative. We report the first successful TA-AVI procedure performed solely under trans-oesophageal echocardiogram control, in the absence of contrast medium injections.
European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 09/2009; 36(5):938-40. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our experience with the Sapien trans-apical aortic valve (Edwards Lifesciences Inc., Irvine, CA, USA) has been straightforward without per-procedural mortality except in 1/16 consecutive cases who developed non-apical haemorrhage early after valve implantation. We describe the case of an 84-year-old female carrying a very high operative risk (logistic EuroScore of 44%), who underwent a trans-apical stent-valve implantation for severe and symptomatic aortic valve stenosis (23 mm). Due to massive blood loss, an emergency sternotomy and cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass resuscitation were necessary to treat (without success) an unusual and unexpected subaortic left ventricular free-wall rupture that occurred few minutes after the stent-valve positioning and implantation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first described case of a left ventricular free-wall rupture occurring after an otherwise non-complicated standard catheter-based aortic valve replacement.
European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 09/2009; 37(1):242-4. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients who develop a severe stenosis in biological pulmonary conduits previously implanted for pulmonary outflow trunk reconstructions are treated either by surgical re-replacement, or by transcatheter stent-valve implantation through a femoral vein access. A catheter-based sub-xyphoidian access through the right ventricle for stent-valve positioning in a pulmonary conduit has rarely been proposed. We describe the case of a 20-year-old man who underwent a pulmonary trunk reconstruction for a congenital pulmonary valve dysplasia and a few years later developed a stenosis in the pulmonary conduit. He was successfully treated with a 23 mm Edwards Sapien stent-valve implantation in pulmonary position, through an unusual right ventricular, sub-xyphoidian access and without contrast medium injections and pleura opening.
European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery: official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery 07/2009; 36(3):595-7. · 2.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the most common congenital cardiac anomaly, occurring in 1% to 2% of the general population
(Fedak et al. 2002). Although the physiopathology and natural history are not completely understood, the bicuspid aortic valve syndrome (BAVS)
is a clinically challenging issue for physicians and more recently for radiologists. It has been demonstrated that the majority
of patients with BAVS develop signifi cant anatomic changes and complications that require specifi c treatment. Thus, recognition
of the silent disease could have signifi cant implications for patient management. This section will focus on anatomic features
of the BAV, assessment of the bicuspidia, especially using relatively new cross-sectional modalities, and identifi cation
of cardiac and vascular complications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to provide an insight into normative values of the ascending aorta in regards to novel endovascular procedures using ECG-gated multi-detector CT angiography. Seventy-seven adult patients without ascending aortic abnormalities were evaluated. Measurements at relevant levels of the aortic root and ascending aorta were obtained. Diameter variations of the ascending aorta during cardiac cycle were also considered. Mean diameters (mm) were as follows: LV outflow tract 20.3 +/- 3.4, coronary sinus 34.2 +/- 4.1, sino-tubular junction 29.7 +/- 3.4 and mid ascending aorta 32.7 +/- 3.8 with coefficients of variation (CV) ranging from 12 to 17%. Mean distances (mm) were: from the plane passing through the proximal insertions of the aortic valve cusps to the right brachio-cephalic artery (BCA) 92.6 +/- 11.8, from the plane passing through the proximal insertions of the aortic valve cusps to the proximal coronary ostium 12.1 +/- 3.7, and between both coronary ostia 7.2 +/- 3.1, minimal arc of the ascending aorta from left coronary ostium to right BCA 52.9 +/- 9.5, and the fibrous continuity between the aortic valve and the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve 14.6 +/- 3.3, CV 13-43%. Mean aortic valve area was 582.0 +/- 131.9 mm(2). The variation of the antero-posterior and transverse diameters of the ascending aorta during the cardiac cycle were 8.4% and 7.3%, respectively. Results showed large inter-individual variations in diameters and distances but with limited intra-individual variations during the cardiac cycle. A personalized approach for planning endovascular devices must be considered.
European Radiology 10/2008; 19(3):664-9. · 3.55 Impact Factor