Objective: The goal is to image the 3D anatomy of the major coronary arteries within a single breath-hold and using a single intravenous injection of contrast agent.
Materials and methods: With use of an electron-beam CT (EBCT) scanner, operated in its multislice scan mode (using all four target rings, each scanning two nominal 8 mm thick slices in a total time interval of 224 ms), a radiologically realistic thorax phantom containing a heart with coronary arteries (opacified with 40 mg iodine/ml) was scanned six times with the patient table advanced by a 2 mm step into the scanner between each scan. The normalized and scaled sinogram data were transferred to an off-line computer and reconstructed using our own implementation of a 3D algebraic reconstruction technique that takes into account the exact 3D relationship of the X-ray source and detector elements of the EBCT.
Results: A single volume image consisting of 40 slices, at 2 mm intervals and each uniformly 3.7 mm thick, depicted the lumina of the coronary arteries with greater anatomic detail than the "original" images at 8 mm, primarily because of the reduced partial volume effect.
Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest that EBCT, operated in multislice scan mode, may be useful for transvenous coronary angiography performed within a single breath-hold.