Objectives: The aim of the present study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of 64-slice computed tomography (CT) to identify and quantify atherosclerotic coronary lesions in comparison with catheter-based angiography and intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).
Background: Currently, the ability of multislice CT to quantify the degree of coronary artery stenosis and dimensions of coronary plaques has not been evaluated.
Methods: We included 59 patients scheduled for coronary angiography due to stable angina pectoris. A contrast-enhanced 64-slice CT (Senation 64, Siemens Medical Solutions, Forchheim, Germany) was performed before the invasive angiogram. In a subset of 18 patients, IVUS of 32 vessels was part of the catheterization procedure.
Results: In 55 of 59 patients, 64-slice CT enabled the visualization of the entire coronary tree with diagnostic image quality (American Heart Association 15-segment model). The overall correlation between the degree of stenosis detected by quantitative coronary angiography compared with 64-slice CT was r = 0.54. Sensitivity for the detection of stenosis <50%, stenosis >50%, and stenosis >75% was 79%, 73%, and 80%, respectively, and specificity was 97%. In comparison with IVUS, 46 of 55 (84%) lesions were identified correctly. The mean plaque areas and the percentage of vessel obstruction measured by IVUS and 64-slice CT were 8.1 mm2 versus 7.3 mm2 (p < 0.03, r = 0.73) and 50.4% versus 41.1% (p < 0.001, r = 0.61), respectively.
Conclusions: Contrast-enhanced 64-slice CT is a clinically robust modality that allows the identification of proximal coronary lesions with excellent accuracy. Measurements of plaque and lumen areas derived by CT correlated well with IVUS. A major limitation is the insufficient ability of CT to exactly quantify the degree of stenosis.