Improved coronary artery stent visualization and in-stent stenosis detection using 16-slice computed-tomography and dedicated image reconstruction technique.

Research paper by David D Maintz, Harald H Seifarth, Thomas T Flohr, Stefan S Krämer, Thomas T Wichter, Walter W Heindel, Roman R Fischbach

Indexed on: 25 Nov '03Published on: 25 Nov '03Published in: Investigative radiology


The aim of this study was to compare the visualization of different coronary artery stents and the detectability of in-stent stenoses during 4-slice and 16-slice computed tomography (CT) angiography in a vessel phantom.Ten coronary stents were introduced in a coronary artery vessel phantom (plastic tubes with an inner diameter of 3 mm, filled with iodinated contrast material diluted to 220 Hounsfiled Units [HU], surrounded by oil [60 HU]). CT scans were obtained perpendicular to the stent axes on a 4-slice scanner (detector collimation 4x1 mm; table feed 1.5 mm/rotation, mAs 300, kV 120, medium-smooth kernel) and a 16-slice scanner (detector collimation 12x0.75 mm; table feed 2.8 mm/rotation, mAs 370, kV 120, reconstruction with a standard and an optimized sharp kernel). Longitudinal multiplanar reformations were evaluated regarding visible lumen diameters and intraluminal attenuation values. Additionally, the stents were scanned with the same parameters after implantation of 60% stenoses (HU 30).Using the same medium-smooth kernel reconstruction with 4-slice and 16-slice CT, there was a slight increase in the average visible lumen area (26% versus 31%) and less increase of average intraluminal attenuation values (380 HU versus 349 HU). Significant improvement of lumen visualization (54%, P<0.01) and attenuation values (250, P<0.01) was observed for the 16-slice scans using the sharp kernel reconstruction. In-stent stenoses could be more reliably identified (or ruled out) by 16-slice CT and sharp reconstruction kernel when compared with the other 2 methods.16-slice CT using a dedicated sharp kernel for image reconstruction facilitates improved visualization of coronary artery stent lumen and detection of in-stent stenoses.