Objectives: The aim of our study was to evaluate the feasibility of detecting coronary artery lesions using a new computed tomography (CT) scanner with 16 detectors and faster gantry rotation.
Background: Computed tomography angiography of the coronaries permits assessment of the coronaries; however, image quality is still impaired by motion artifacts and calcifications.
Methods: Sixty patients scheduled for conventional coronary angiography (CCA) were additionally studied by multislice spiral computed tomography (MSCT). Calcium scores and a contrast-enhanced visualization of the coronaries were performed and analyzed regarding evaluability, presence of coronary artery lesions, and correct clinical diagnosis.
Results: Calcium scoring was successful in all patients; 58 of 60 patients had a diagnostic contrast-enhanced scan. Mean calcium score was 506 +/- 743 Agatston score equivalent (ASE); 13 of 58 (22%) patients had an ASE >or=1,000, 46 of 58 (78%) patients <1,000. In 763 coronary segments, CCA detected a total of 75 lesions >or=50%. The MSCT correctly assessed 54 of these. Twenty-one lesions were missed or incorrectly underestimated. Sensitivity was 72%, specificity 97%. When restricting analysis to patients with an ASE <1,000, 40 significant lesions >or=50% were seen on CCA, and MSCT correctly detected 39 lesions (sensitivity 98%, specificity 98%). Regardless of any threshold, the correct clinical diagnosis could be obtained in 58 of 60 (97%) of all patients.
Conclusions: In individuals with low-to-moderate amounts of coronary artery calcium, 16-detector CT coronary angiography has high sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of significant coronary artery stenosis.