Image Quality of Prospectively ECG-Triggered Coronary CT Angiography in Heart Transplant Recipients.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Feb;210(2):314-319. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.18546. Epub 2017 Nov 1. Bartykowszki A1, Kolossváry M1, Jermendy ÁL1, Karády J1, Szilveszter B1, Károlyi M1, Balogh O2, Sax B1, Merkely B1, Maurovich-Horvat P1.
OBJECTIVE: Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is among the top causes of death 1 year after heart transplantation (HTx). Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is a potential alternative to invasive imaging in the diagnosis of CAV. However, the higher heart rate (HR) of HTx recipients prompts the use of retrospective ECG-gating, which is associated with higher radiation dose, a major concern in this patient population. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the feasibility and image quality of low-radiation-dose prospectively ECG-triggered coronary CTA in HTx recipients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In total, 1270 coronary segments were evaluated in 50 HTx recipients and 50 matched control subjects who did not undergo HTx. The control subjects were selected from our clinical database and were matched for age, sex, body mass index, HR, and coronary dominance. Scans were performed using 256-MDCT with prospective ECG-triggering. The degree of motion artifacts was evaluated on a per-segment basis on a 4-point Likert-type scale.
RESULTS: The median HR was 74.0 beats/min (interquartile range [IQR], 67.8-79.3 beats/min) in the HTx group and 73.0 beats/min (IQR, 68.5-80.0 beats/min) in the matched control group (p = 0.58). In the HTx group, more segments had diagnostic image quality compared with the control group (624/662 [94.3%] vs 504/608 [82.9%]; p < 0.001). The mean effective radiation dose was low in both groups (3.7 mSv [IQR, 2.4-4.3 mSv] in the HTx group vs 4.3 mSv [IQR, 2.6-4.3 mSv] in the control group; p = 0.24).
CONCLUSION: Prospectively ECG-triggered coronary CTA examinations of HTx recipients yielded diagnostic image quality with low radiation dose. Coronary CTA is a promising noninvasive alternative to routine catheterization during follow-up of HTx recipients to diagnose CAV.