Measurement of Coronary Artery Bifurcation Angles by Multidetector Computed Tomography

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Abstract

Objective:

Optimal stent deployment in coronary artery bifurcations requires information about the angle between main vessel and side branch. We evaluated the accuracy and interobserver variability of bifurcation angle measurements by contrast-enhanced 16-slice multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) in comparison with invasive angiography and examined the average angles of 4 main coronary bifurcations.

Methods:

To determine the accuracy of MDCT for measurement of bifurcation angles, we scanned a coronary artery phantom containing 6 bifurcations (2-mm metal rods with angles between 25° and 90°) using MDCT, and angles determined in the MDCT data set were compared with the true values. To assess interobserver variability of angle measurements in comparison to invasive angiography, the angles of 3 bifurcation sites (left anterior descending and left circumflex coronary artery [LAD/LCX], LAD and first diagonal branch [LAD/Diag 1], and posterior descending coronary artery and right posterolateral branch [PDA/Rpld]) were determined in 15 patients both in 16-detector row MDCT data sets and invasive coronary angiograms by 2 independent observers each. To assess the natural distribution of the 4 main coronary artery bifurcation angles (LAD and LCX, LAD and Diag 1, LCX and OM1, PDA and Rpld), the average angles of these bifurcations were determined in 16-slice MDCT data sets acquired for coronary artery visalization in a group of 100 consecutive patients with suspected coronary artery disease.

Results:

The phantom study revealed a mean difference between measured and true angles of 0.7 ± 0.5°. In the comparison MDCT versus invasive angiography, the 45 angles were significantly lager in MDCT (mean: 66 ± 20° vs. 56 ± 24°, P = 0.027). Interobserver variability was significantly lower in MDCT (r = 0.91) than invasive angiography (r = 0.62). Analysis of the natural distribution of bifurcation angles by MDCT revealed average values of 80 ± 27° (LAD/LCX), 46 ± 19° (LAD/Diag1), 48 ± 24° (LCX/OM1), and 53 ± 27° (PDA/Rpld), respectively.

Conclusion:

MDCT allows assessment of coronary bifurcation angles with high accuracy, which may be of future potential for planning interventional treatment.

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