Objectives: This retrospective study assessed whether dual-source high-pitch computed tomographic angiography (CTA) offered advantages over single-source standard-pitch techniques in the evaluation of the ascending aorta.
Methods: Twenty patients who received both thoracic dual-source high-pitch and single-source standard-pitch CTAs within 1 year were assessed. Dual-source CTAs were performed; standard-pitch imaging used dose-modulated 120 kVp/150 mAs and 0.8 pitch compared with high-pitch protocols employing dose-modulated 120 kVp/250 mAs and 2.4 target pitch. Radiation dose was documented. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) at sinuses of the Valsalva (CNRValsalva) and ascending aorta (CNRAorta) were calculated. Dose/CNR for each technique was compared with paired t-tests. Motion at aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aorta were assessed with four-point scales and Mann-Whitney U tests; longitudinal extension of motion was compared with paired t-tests.
Results: Significantly lower motion scores for high-pitch, compared with standard-pitch acquisitions for aortic annulus, 0 vs. 2, aortic root, 0 vs. 3, and ascending aorta, 0 vs. 2, were achieved. Significantly reduced longitudinal extension of motion at aortic root, 4.9 mm vs 15.7 mm, and ascending aorta, 4.9 mm vs 21.6 mm, was observed. Contrast was not impacted: CNRValsalva, 45.6 vs 46.3, and CNRAorta, 45.3 vs 47.1. CTDIvol was significantly decreased for high-pitch acquisitions, 13.9 mGy vs 15.8 mGy.
Conclusions: Dual-source high-pitch CTAs significantly decreased motion artefact without negatively impacting vascular contrast and radiation dose.
Key points: • Dual-source high-pitch CTA significantly decreased motion artefact of the ascending aorta. • Dual-source high-pitch CTA did not negatively impact on vascular contrast. • Dual-source high-pitch CTA significantly decreased radiation dose compared with single-source standard-pitch acquisitions.