Imaging of coronary artery stents using multislice computed tomography: in vitro evaluation

Eur Radiol. 2003 Apr;13(4):830-5. doi: 10.1007/s00330-002-1651-4. Epub 2002 Sep 7.


The aim of this study was to evaluate imaging features of different coronary artery stents during multislice CT Angiography (MSCTA). Nineteen stents made of varying material (steel, nitinol, tantalum) and of varying stent design were implanted in plastic tubes with an inner diameter of 3 mm to simulate a coronary artery. The tubes were filled with iodinated contrast material diluted to 200 Hounsfield units (HU), closed at both ends and positioned in a plastic container filled with oil (-70 HU). The MSCT scans were obtained perpendicular to the stent axes (detector collimation 4x1 mm, table feed 2 mm/rotation, 300 mAs, 120 kV). Axial images and multiplanar reformations were evaluated regarding artifact size, lumen visibility, and intraluminal attenuation values. Artifacts characterized by artifactual thickening of the stent struts leading to apparent reduction in the lumen diameter and increased intraluminal attenuation values were observed in all cases. The stent lumen was totally obscured in the Wiktor stent, the Wallgraft stent, and the Nir Royal stent. Partial residual of the stent lumen could be visualized in all other utilized stent products (artificial lumen reductions ranged from 62% in the V-Flex stent to 94% in the Bx Velocity stent). Parts of the stent lumen can be visualized in most coronary artery stents; however, detectability of in-stent stenoses remains to be evaluated for each stent type.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Stenosis / therapy
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Stents*
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed*