Intravenous three-dimensional coronary angiography using contrast enhanced electron beam computed tomography

Am J Cardiol. 1999 Mar 15;83(6):840-5. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9149(98)01075-3.


Coronary angiography remains the diagnostic standard for establishing the presence, site, and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD). Electron beam computed tomography (EBCT), with its 3-dimensional capabilities, is an emerging technology with the potential for obtaining essentially noninvasive coronary arteriograms. The purpose of this study was to (1) test the accuracy of intravenous coronary arteriography using the EBCT to conventional coronary arteriographic images; (2) establish the inter-reader variability of this procedure; (3) determine the limitations due to location within the coronary tree; and (4) identify factors that contributed to improved image quality of the 3-dimensional EBCT angiograms. Fifty-two patients underwent both EBCT angiography and coronary angiography within 2 weeks. The coronary angiogram and the EBCT 3-dimensional images were analyzed by 2 observers blinded to the results of the other techniques. EBCT correctly identified 43 of 55 significantly stenosed arteries (sensitivity 78%), and correctly identified 118 of 130 of the nonobstructed arteries, yielding a specificity of 91% (p <0.001, chi-square analysis). The overall accuracy for EBCT angiography was 87%. Significantly more left main and anterior descending coronary arteries were adequately visualized than the circumflex and right coronary vessels (p = 0.003). Overall, 23 of 208 (11%) major epicardial vessels were noninterpretable by the blinded EBCT readers, primarily due to motion artifacts caused by cardiac and respiratory motion and poor electrocardiographic gating. The inter-reader variability was similar to that of angiography, and its high accuracy makes this a clinically useful test. This study demonstrates, by using intravenous contrast enhancement, that EBCT can clearly depict the coronary artery anatomy and can permit identification of coronary artery stenosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage*
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Indocyanine Green / administration & dosage
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iopamidol* / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Iopamidol