Prediction of coronary artery plaque progression and potential rupture from 320-detector row prospectively ECG-gated single heart beat CT angiography: Lattice Boltzmann evaluation of endothelial shear stress
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Advances in MDCT will extend coronary CTA beyond the morphology data provided by systems that use 64 or fewer detector rows. Newer coronary CTA technology such as prospective ECG-gating will also enable lower dose examinations. Since the current standard of care for coronary diagnoses is catheterization, CT will continue to be benchmarked against catheterization reference points, in particular temporal resolution, spatial resolution, radiation dose, and volume coverage. This article focuses on single heart beat cardiac acquisitions enabled by 320-detector row CT. Imaging with this system can now be performed with patient radiation doses comparable to catheterization. The high image quality, excellent contrast opacification, and absence of stair-step artifact provide the potential to evaluate endothelial shear stress (ESS) noninvasively with CT. Low ESS is known to lead to the development and progression of atherosclerotic plaque culminating in high-risk vulnerable plaque likely to rupture and cause an acute coronary event. The magnitude of local low ESS, in combination with the local remodeling response and the severity of systemic risk factors, determines the natural history of each plaque. This paper describes the steps required to derive an ESS map from 320-detector row CT data using the Lattice Boltzmann method to include the complex geometry of the coronary arterial tree. This approach diminishes the limitations of other computational fluid dynamics methods to properly evaluate multiple coronary arteries, including the complex geometry of coronary bifurcations where lesions tend to develop.
KeywordsComputed tomography Shear stress Atherosclerosis Coronary disease Vascular remodeling
This work is supported by a grant to Dr. Rybicki from Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation.
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