The gold standard for direct diagnostic imaging of coronary arteries is still conventional X-ray coronary angiography, even though for several other applications, noninvasive techniques substituted invasive ones. In the last 10 years several techniques (magnetic resonance, electron beam tomography, spiral computed tomography) attempted to emerge as noninvasive modality for the study of coronary arteries. The introduction of multislice computed tomography (MSCT) with retrospectively gated ECG reconstructions has substantially modified the coronary imaging scenario. In fact, the results have been promising since the beginning with 4-row MSCT. Currently the results reported with 16-row MSCT allow to question which role can the noninvasive coronary angiography play in clinical settings. With a scan of <20 s after intravenous administration of iodinated contrast material it is possible to obtain information similar to conventional coronary angiography. Moreover, together with vascular patency, also atherosclerotic plaques are well visualized and characterized (type: calcified, soft, mixed). Ongoing studies are validating MSCT in the assessment of plaque vulnerability. The same technique allows to evaluate left ventricular function and myocardial wall motion impairment. Still with a few major limitations related to the heart rate, MSCT will broaden the noninvasive capability of evaluating coronary arteries in patients where conventional coronary angiography is exceeding the actual clinical question or considered as premature.
|Translated title of the contribution||Non-invasive 16-row spiral multislice computed tomography coronary angiography after one year of experience|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Italian Heart Journal|
|Issue number||7 Suppl|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine