Eur J Radiol. 2010 Apr;74(1):182-8 doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.03.001. 2009 Apr 05.

Predictors of image quality of coronary computed tomography in the acute care setting of patients with chest pain

Bamberg F, Abbara S, Schlett CL, Cury RC, Truong QA, Rogers IS, Nagurney JT, Brady TJ, Hoffmann U.


OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine predictors of image quality in consecutive patients who underwent coronary computed tomography (CT) for the evaluation of acute chest pain.
METHOD AND MATERIALS: We prospectively enrolled patients who presented with chest pain to the emergency department. All subjects underwent contrast-enhanced 64-slice coronary multi-detector CT. Two experienced readers determined overall image quality on a per-patient basis and the prevalence and characteristics of non-evaluable coronary segments on a per-segment basis.
RESULTS: Among 378 subjects (143 women, age: 52.9+/-11.8 years), 345 (91%) had acceptable overall image quality, while 33 (9%) had poor image quality or were unreadable. In adjusted analysis, patients with diabetes, hypertension and a higher heart rate during the scan were more likely to have exams graded as poor or unreadable (odds ratio [OR]: 2.94, p=0.02; OR: 2.62, p=0.03; OR: 1.43, p=0.02; respectively). Of 6253 coronary segments, 257 (4%) were non-evaluable, most due to severe calcification in combination with motion (35%). The presence of non-evaluable coronary segments was associated with age (OR: 1.08 annually, 95%-confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-1.12, p CONCLUSION: Coronary CT permits acceptable image quality in more than 90% of patients with chest pain. Patients with multiple risk factors are more likely to have impaired image quality or non-evaluable coronary segments. These patients may require careful patient preparation and optimization of CT scanning protocols.

PMID: 19346094