Optimization of Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography for Improved Plaque Detection

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Abstract

Objective

The study aims to optimize visualization of the coronary wall during computed tomography coronary angiography.

Methods

A coronary plaque phantom was scanned on a wide-volume computed tomography scanner. Spatial resolution, contrast resolution, and vessel wall thickness were measured at different x-ray tube currents and voltages.

Results

Spatial resolution ranged from 0.385 to 0.625 mm and was significantly lower at higher currents. Contrast-to-noise ratio was significantly higher at higher currents. The most accurate wall thickness measurements were quantified at 300 and 400 mA for 80 and 100 kVp and 300 mA for 120 and 135 kVp.

Conclusions

Lower spatial resolution at higher currents was due to added blur from increased focal spot size. Contrast-to-noise ratio was higher at higher currents owing to decreased quantum noise. Wall thickness was measured more accurately at intermediate currents with midrange contrast-to-noise ratio but optimal spatial resolution. For accurate coronary wall thickness measurement, contrast-to-noise ratio is compromised to achieve optimal spatial resolution.

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