Comparison of Whole Heart Computed Tomography Scanners for Image Quality Lower Radiation Dosing in Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography: The CONVERGE Registry.
Acad Radiol. 2019 Jan 22. pii: S1076-6332(19)30021-2. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2019.01.002. [Epub ahead of print]
Patel N1, Li D1, Nakanishi R2, Fatima B1, Andreini D3, Pontone G4, Conte E4, O'Rourke R5, Jayawardena E1, Hamilton-Craig C5, Nimmagadda M1, Budoff MJ6.
RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Novel technology in coronary computed tomographic angiography allows assessment of coronary artery disease with high image quality (IQ). There are currently two wide detector "whole heart" coverage scanners available, which avoid misregistration artifacts. However, there are no data directly comparing IQ between the two scanners. The aim of the current study is to investigate if IQ is different between the most current scanners of GE and Toshiba broad detector scanners.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospective, observational, multicenter international cohort study comparing 236 consecutive patients who underwent coronary computed tomographic angiography using whole-heart scanners; 126 patients on scanner S1 (Aquilion ONE, Toshiba), and 110 patients on scanner S2 (Revolution CT, GE Healthcare). Hounsfield units were measured using regions of interest in the descending aorta at 6 points (cranial slice, level of the visualized first, second, third, and fourth spines, and the caudal slice). We also compared the coverage length (z-axis) of the full width field of view between a single rotation of the two scanners.
RESULTS: Evaluating mean CT attenuation values Hounsfield units through the scan range, are progressively reduced across the descending aorta in the S1 group, resulting in the larger difference of contrast brightness between the cranial and caudal slices compared to the S2 group (absolute difference: S2 13.0 ± 4.4 vs S1 141.9 ± 16.4, p < 0.0001; Percent difference: 19.3 ± 2.1 vs -3.4 ± 1.2, <0.0001). The standard deviation (SD) is similar at the cranial slice between the two scanners, however, the S1 group demonstrated higher SD-differential from cranial to caudal than S2 group. Median radiation exposure was significantly lower for the S2 scanner 1.50 ± 0.75 mSv vs the S1 system 1.9 mSv (IQR 1.7-2.7 mSv) (p = 0.01). Z-axis coverage was larger for the S2 scanner 152.5 mm (244 slices × 0.625 mm/slice) than 133 mm for S1 (266 slices × 0.5 mm/slice).
CONCLUSION: Although both "volume" scanners cover the whole heart z-axis with one beat, scans using the S1 scanner have a larger variability in attenuation values throughout the scan range, resulting in 20% increase in nonuniformity from cranial to caudal slice. Additionally, SD variation across the field of view, a metric of noise, is larger when using the S1 scanner vs the S2 scanner. These results indicate that the GE Revolution CT has more uniform contrast enhancement and more coverage, lower radiation and lower image noise compared to the current Toshiba Aquilion ONE system.