Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of a 16-detector row computed tomography (CT) scanner for the assessment of coronary artery bypass grafts.
Background: A new generation of multislice spiral CT scanners, equipped with more and thinner detector rows, allows for reliable noninvasive detection of obstructive coronary artery disease.
Methods: The study included 51 consecutive patients. Three patients had to be excluded from the study due to arrhythmias or fast heart rates despite beta-blockade. A total of 48 patients with 131 coronary artery bypass grafts (internal mammary artery, n = 40; venous grafts, n = 91) were examined by computed tomography angiography (CTA) and by invasive coronary angiography (ICA) using a 16-detector row CT scanner. For cardiac protocols, only the 12 inner detector rings are applied. All CT examinations were performed with retrospective electrocardiogram gating at a mean heart rate of 64 +/- 5 beats/min; 120 ml of Xenetix 300 (Guerbert GmbH, Sulzbach, Germany) were continuously injected. The bypass graft patency and the presence of stenoses as well as the proximal and distal anastomoses were evaluated by two experienced readers.
Results: All bypass grafts and 74% of the distal bypass anastomoses could be visualized by CTA; 21 bypass graft occlusions and 1 significant stenosis were detected by CTA and confirmed by ICA. Five false positive and one false negative finding resulted in a sensitivity of 96%, a specificity of 95%, a positive predictive value of 81%, and a negative predictive value of 99%.
Conclusions: Sixteen-detector row CT scanner technology allows for the reliable visualization of coronary bypass grafts. Dysfunctional bypass grafts can be detected with high diagnostic accuracy. This technology can be used as a noninvasive test for patients with suspected graft dysfunction.