Background: We investigated the potential of 16-slice multi-detector row spiral CT (MDCT) with retrospective ECG-gating for evaluation of coronary artery anomalies.
Methods: A total of 35 patients (23 men, 12 women, 19-81 years) in whom anomalous coronary arteries had been detected by invasive coronary angiography underwent MDCT (Sensation 16, Siemens, Germany). During one breathhold, a contrast-enhanced (90 ml, 5 ml/s) volume data set of the heart was acquired (16x0.75mm collimation, gantry rotation 375 ms). Images were reconstructed with a slice thickness of 1.0 mm in 0.5-mm intervals using retrospective ECG-gated reconstruction. The 35 data sets and 80 data sets of patients with angiographically normal coronary anatomy were analysed in random order concerning the origin and course of the coronary arteries. The results were compared to invasive coronary angiography.
Results: All patients with coronary artery anomalies and all controls with normal coronary anatomy were identified by MDCT. In addition, the origins and course concerning their anatomical relationship to adjacent cardiac structures were visualized in all patients, including right-sided origin of the left main (n=10), left anterior descending coronary artery (n=4) or left circumflex coronary artery (n=10); left-sided origin of the right coronary artery (n=6); four coronary fistula to the pulmonary artery (two from the left anterior descending, one from the right coronary artery, one from the left main), and one fistula from the circumflex coronary artery to the left atrium
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that MDCT is a reliable noninvasive technique to identify and define anomalous coronary arteries and their course.