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Cardiac spiral dual-source CT with high pitch: a feasibility study

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Increase of pitch in spiral CT decreases data acquisition time; dual-source CT (DSCT) systems provide improved temporal resolution. We evaluated the combination of these two features. Measurements were performed using a commercial DSCT system equipped with prototype software allowing pitch factors from p = 0.35 to 3.0. We measured slice sensitivity profiles as a function of pitch to assess spatial resolution in the z-direction and the contrast of structures moved periodically to measure temporal resolution. Additionally we derived modulation transfer functions to provide objective parameters; both spatial and temporal resolution were essentially unchanged even at high pitch. CT of the cardiac region of three pigs was performed at p = 3.0. In vivo CT images confirmed good image quality; direct comparison with standard low-pitch phase-correlated CT image datasets showed no significant difference. For a normalized z-axis acquisition of 12 cm, the corresponding effective dose value was 2.0 mSv for the high-pitch CT protocol. We conclude that spiral DSCT imaging with a pitch of 3.0 can provide unimpaired image quality with respect to spatial and temporal resolution. Applications to cardiac and thoracic imaging with effective dose below 1 mSv are possible.

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Correspondence to Willi A. Kalender.

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The authors would like to dedicate this paper to their esteemed colleague Werner A. Bautz, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology of the University Hospitals of the University of Erlangen, who died unexpectedly on 18 December 2008.

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Ertel, D., Lell, M.M., Harig, F. et al. Cardiac spiral dual-source CT with high pitch: a feasibility study. Eur Radiol 19, 2357–2362 (2009).

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