J. Sanz, S. Dellegrottaglie, V. Fuster and S. Rajagopalan Pages 525 - 539 ( 15 )
Computed tomography (CT) technology has emerged as the most promising imaging modality for the noninvasive evaluation of the coronary circulation. Of the CT-based approaches, multidetectorrow computed tomography (MDCT) and to a lesser extent electron beam computed tomography offer the potential of providing not only data on the spatial extent and burden of coronary calcium content, but also angiographic data, and plaque composition characteristics with the potential for prediction of susceptibility to future cardiovascular events. A number of studies have now confirmed that CT-based assessment of the presence and amount of coronary artery calcium provides incremental prognostic information over traditional risk factors in patients with coronary artery disease and can be employed to refine risk stratification in both asymptomatic and symptomatic subjects. With the advent of several recent advances in CT imaging, it is now possible to provide high resolution (sub-millimeter, isotropic voxels) images of the coronary arteries obtained rapidly with iodinated contrast injected peripherally. MDCT is currently the preferred modality for noninvasive contrast angiography of the coronary arteries by most groups, with a new generation of 64-slice scanners promising to further improve the results of this technique. MDCT-derived angiographic information in conjunction with coronary calcium scoring and plaque characterization has the potential of replacing invasive angiography, as it potentially could provide better global assessment of risk.
Coronary artery disease, coronary artery calcium, calcium scoring, electron beam tomography, multi detector computed tomography
Clinical MRI/CT Program Director, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.