What is the current role of ultrafast CT in coronary imaging?
There is a great need for noninvasive imaging of the coronary arteries. The development of successful treatments for arresting or even reversing the atherosclerotic process makes it mandatory that we develop simple, safe and inexpensive ways to identify early coronary artery disease before acute myocardial infarction or sudden death occurs. Ultrafast computed tomography (UFCT) shows great promise as a method for imaging the coronary arteries with and without contrast medium enhancement. Numerous studies have now demonstrated that the identification and quantification of coronary artery calcium deposits by UFCT is simple to perform and accurate. The amount of coronary calcium present strongly correlates with the amount of plaque burden in the arteries and this correlates with the risk for the presence of obstructive disease and clinical events. Furthermore, early pilot studies indicate that coronary arterial lumens can be well visualized by the use of intravenous contrast enhancement and three-dimensional reconstruction. Clearly, UFCT will continue to play an important role in the imaging of coronary arteries.
KeywordsCoronary Artery Coronary Artery Calcification Coronary Calcium Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease Current Role
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