Computed Tomography Imaging of the Coronary Arteries: State of the Art Applications and Recent Patents
Alon Schaffer, Ettore Cassetti, Maria G. Di Iovine, Lucia Barbieri, Andrea Rognoni, Gioel G. Secco, Maurizio Lazzero, Angelo S. Bongo, Italo Porto and Alessandro Lupi
Affiliation: Department of Cardiology, University of Eastern Piedmont, University Hospital “Maggiore della CaritA”, C.so Mazzini, 18, 28100 Novara, Italy.
Keywords: Computed tomography, computed tomography coronary angiography, contrast nephrotoxicity, coronary artery
disease, iodinated contrast medium, radiation dose.
Computed tomography (CT) is important for the management of many medical illnesses, including coronary
artery disease (CAD). However this technique is not free from disadvantages like the exposure to ionizing radiations and
to iodinated contrast agents. To overcome these problems, imaging technologies are changing rapidly. New- generation
computed tomography scanners (NGCCT) may bring substantial advantages over traditional CT and other currently used
imaging methods. These novel tools employ dedicated protocols to shorten imaging times and reduce radiation doses
without affecting accuracy. Current CT scanners can very accurately identify severe CAD requiring intervention in most
patients, but NGCCT may further benefit imaging for some “difficult” patients like obese patients, patients with high or
irregular heart rates, and patients who have high coronary calcium burden or previous stents or bypass grafts. In fact in
these patients traditional CT studies often produce suboptimal quality images. Our review presents the current status in the
technical background of coronary nuclear tomographic imaging in the areas of clinical practice, and focuses on future
developments of related patent forms.
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