Background: The ability of multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) to detect stress-induced myocardial perfusion abnormalities is of great clinical interest as a potential tool for the combined evaluation of coronary stenosis and its significance. However, stress testing requires repeated scanning that is associated with additional radiation exposure and iodine contrast. Objective: Our goal was to determine the effects of reduced tube voltage and contrast dose on the ability to detect perfusion abnormalities. Methods: We studied 40 patients referred for coronary CT angiography (CTA) who agreed to undergo additional imaging after administration of an A2A-agonist (regadenoson 0.4 mg). Images were acquired at rest and during hyperemia with prospective gating with 120 kV tube voltage with 80–90 mL of contrast in 20 patients (group 1) and 100 kV with 55–70 mL of contrast in the remaining 20 patients (group 2). Custom 3D analysis software was used to define 3D myocardial segments and measure x-ray attenuation in each segment. In each group of patients, myocardial attenuation was averaged for segments supplied by coronary arteries with stenosis causing >50% luminal narrowing on coronary CTA and separately for segments supplied by arteries without significant stenosis. Results: Coronary CTA detected stenosis >50% in 23 of 120 coronary arteries in 16 of 40 patients. In all patients combined, myocardial attenuation increased from 86 ± 9 at rest to 110 ± 17 HU with stress, reflecting an increase in tissue blood flow, despite the decrease in left ventricular cavity attenuation (347 ± 72 to 281 ± 55 HU), reflecting an increase in cardiac output. Importantly, in both groups, myocardial attenuation was equally reduced in segments supplied by diseased arteries (group 1: 119 ± 19 vs 103 ± 14 HU, P < 0.05; group 2: 108 ± 20 vs 97 ± 16 HU, P < 0.05), despite the 74% reduction in radiation (from 7.4 ± 2.8 to 1.9 ± 0.45 mSv) and the 28% reduction in contrast dose (from 84 ± 7 to 60 ±7 mL) (both P < 0.05). Conclusions: Regadenoson stress MDCT imaging can detect hypoperfused myocardium even when imaging settings are optimized to provide a significant reduction in radiation and contrast doses.
- Cardiovascular CT
- Multidetector CT