, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1822-1828
Date: 04 May 2013

Prospectively ECG-triggered sequential dual-source coronary CT angiography in patients with atrial fibrillation: comparison with retrospectively ECG-gated helical CT

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the feasibility of applying prospectively ECG-triggered sequential coronary CT angiography (CCTA) to patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and evaluate the image quality and radiation dose compared with a retrospectively ECG-gated helical protocol.

Methods

100 patients with persistent AF were enrolled. Fifty patients were randomly assigned to a prospective protocol and the other patients to a retrospective protocol using a second-generation dual-source CT (DS-CT). Image quality was evaluated using a four-point grading scale (1 = excellent, 2 = good, 3 = moderate, 4 = poor) by two reviewers on a per-segment basis. The coronary artery segments were considered non-diagnostic with a quality score of 4. The radiation dose was evaluated.

Results

Diagnostic segment rate in the prospective group was 99.4 % (642/646 segments), while that in the retrospective group was 96.5 % (604/626 segments) (P < 0.001). Effective dose was 4.29 ± 1.86 and 11.95 ± 5.34 mSv for each of the two protocols (P < 0.001), which was a 64 % reduction in the radiation dose for prospective sequential imaging compared with retrospective helical imaging.

Conclusion

In AF patients, prospectively ECG-triggered sequential CCTA is feasible using second-generation DS-CT and can decrease >60 % radiation exposure compared with retrospectively ECG-gated helical imaging while improving diagnostic image quality.

Key Points

Coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) can be difficult in patients with arrhythmias.

Prospectively ECG-triggered sequential CCTA is feasible in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Prospective sequential imaging can improve quality compared with retrospective analysis.

Prospective sequential imaging decreases radiation exposure by 64 % compared with retrospective mode.