Computed tomography for assessment of cardiac chambers, valves, myocardium and pericardium

Cardiology Clinics
Lawrence M BoxtMelvin E Clouse

Abstract

The focus to date of MDCT has been primarily on CT applications for evaluating the coronary arteries, notably the measurement of coronary artery calcification, plaque characterization, and atherosclerotic lumen stenosis. This is because of the limited temporal resolution of CT, and the recent rapid improvements in MRI for cardiac applications. However, if the temporal resolution of MDCT can be improved, there will be a compelling argument for undertaking further CT validation studies. Feasibility of CT has already been established by EBT for general cardiac diagnosis. Modifications for MDCT include improved software methods for post processing ECG-gated scan data or higher speed CT hardware for faster image acquisition, both of which are being developed at this time. EBT is also evolving and continuously being refined so that the new generation of scanners have exposure times of 50 msec or less. There are many considerations in comparing the pros and cons of competing cardiac imaging modalities. Published diagnostic validations studies, convenience, procedure time, the comfort level (of patients and physicians), availability, and cost are all critical. The level of acceptance and the accuracy with which specific patient managem...Continue Reading

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