Bastarrika G, De Cecco CN, Arraiza M, Mastrobuoni S, Pueyo JC, Ubilla M, et al. Dual-source CT for visualization of the coronary arteries in heart transplant patients with high heart rates. AJR Am J Roentgenol 2008 Aug;191(2):448-454.
OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of dual-source CT images of the coronary arteries in heart transplant recipients with high heart rates.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Contrast-enhanced dual-source CT coronary angiography was performed on 23 heart transplant recipients (20 men, three women; mean age, 61.1 ± 12.8 years). Data sets were reconstructed in 5% steps from 30% to 80% of the R-R interval. Two blinded independent readers using a 5-point scale (0, not evaluative; 4, excellent quality) assessed the quality of images of coronary segments.
RESULTS. The mean heart rate during scanning was 89.2 ± 10.4 beats/min. Interobserver agreement on the quality of images of the whole coronary tree was a kappa value of 0.78 and for selection of the optimal reconstruction interval was a kappa value of 0.82. The optimal reconstruction interval was systole in 17 (74%) of the 23 of heart transplant recipients. At the best reconstruction interval, diagnostic image quality (score ≥ 2) was obtained in 92.1% (303 of 329) of the coronary artery segments. The mean image quality score for the whole coronary tree was 3.1 ± 1.01. No significant correlation between mean heart rate (ρ = 0.31) or heart rate variability (ρ = 0.23) and overall image quality score was observed (p = not significant).
CONCLUSION. Dual-source CT acquisition yields coronary angiograms of diagnostic quality in heart transplant recipients. Mean heart rate and heart rate variability during scanning do not have a negative effect on the overall quality of images of the coronary arteries.