, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 2927-2933
Date: 27 Jun 2013

Detection of coronary artery stenosis with sub-milliSievert radiation dose by prospectively ECG-triggered high-pitch spiral CT angiography and iterative reconstruction

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To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of sub-milliSievert (mSv) coronary CT angiography (cCTA) using prospectively ECG-triggered high-pitch spiral CT acquisition combined with iterative image reconstruction.


Forty consecutive patients (52.9 ± 8.7 years; 30 men) underwent dual-source cCTA using prospectively ECG-triggered high-pitch spiral acquisition. The tube current-time product was set to 50 % of standard-of-care CT examinations. Images were reconstructed with sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction. Image quality was scored and diagnostic performance for detection of ≥50 % stenosis was determined with catheter coronary angiography (CCA) as the reference standard.


CT was successfully performed in all 40 patients. Of the 601 assessable coronary segments, 543 (90.3 %) had diagnostic image quality. Per-patient sensitivity for detection of ≥50 % stenosis was 95.7 % [95 % confidence interval (CI), 76.0-99.8 %] and specificity was 94.1 % (95 % CI, 69.2-99.7 %). Per-vessel sensitivity was 89.5 % (95 % CI, 77.8-95.6 %) with 93.2 % specificity (95 % CI, 86.0-97.0 %). The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve on per-patient and per-vessel levels was 0.949 and 0.913. Mean effective dose was 0.58 ± 0.17 mSv. Mean size-specific dose estimate was 3.14 ± 1.15 mGy.


High-pitch prospectively ECG-triggered cCTA combined with iterative image reconstruction provides high diagnostic accuracy with a radiation dose below 1 mSv for detection of coronary artery stenosis.

Key Points

Cardiac CT with sub-milliSievert radiation dose is feasible in many patients

High-pitch spiral CT acquisition with iterative reconstruction detects coronary stenosis accurately.

Iterative reconstruction increases who can benefit from low-radiation cardiac CT.