Cardiac Function Imaging for the Chest Radiologist: Computed Tomography

  • Stephan Achenbach


The heart has small dimensions, an elaborate 3D structure and is subjected to rapid and constant motion. Whereas computed tomography (CT) imaging is perfectly suited to cope with the complex anatomy due to its tomographic nature and high spatial resolution, it has been a challenge to achieve sufficient temporal resolution for cardiac imaging. A number of developments in recent years have made it possible to use CT for cardiac imaging. Faster rotations times improve temporal resolution, and electrocardiographic (ECG)-gated partial-scan reconstruction algorithms allow imaging with exposure times per image that can be substantially shorter that the time of one rotation and permit synchronisation of image reconstruction with the cardiac cycle. Furthermore, multi- detector-row systems (MDCT) allow coverage of the cardiac volume with thin slices yet at the same time sufficiently short imaging time so that acquisition can comfortably be completed in one breath-hold. Sixty-four-slice CT systems are now considered the minimum prerequisite for high-quality cardiac imaging. Further developments include systems with even more detector rows (up to 320 slices), which allow coverage of the cardiac volume in a shorter time, with 256- and 320-slice systems possibly in one single cardiac cycle. Systems with two tubes and detectors (dual-source CT) permit further increase in temporal resolution, which can be as low as 75 ms per image.


Coronary Compute Tomography Angiography Cardiac Compute Tomography Coronary Artery Stenos Cardiac Volume Regional Left Ventricular Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Achenbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyUniversity of ErlangenErlangenGermany

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