Rationale and objective: The aim of this study was to systematically compare the ability to assess the coronary artery lumen in the presence of coronary artery stents in multislice spiral CT (MSCT).
Methods: Ten different coronary artery stents were examined with 4- and 16-detector row MSCT scanners. For image reconstruction, a standard and a dedicated convolution kernel for coronary artery stent visualization were used. Images were analyzed regarding lumen visibility, intraluminal attenuation, and artifacts outside the stent lumen. Results were compared using repeated-measure analysis of variance.
Results: Depending on stent type, scanner hardware, and convolution kernel, artificial lumen narrowing ranged from 20% to 100%. The convolution kernel had the most significant influence on the visibility of the stent lumen. Artificial lumen narrowing and intraluminal attenuation changes decreased significantly using the dedicated convolution kernel. In general, most severe artifacts were caused by gold or gold-coated stents.
Conclusions: Independent of the scanner hardware or dedicated convolution kernels, routine evaluation of most coronary artery stents is not yet feasible using MSCT.