The objective of this study was to evaluate coronary image quality, stenosis grade, and diagnostic confidence in patients undergoing electrocardiogram-gated thoracoabdominal multidetector computed tomographic angiography (CTA) for aortic evaluation.
Seventy-five consecutive patients underwent retrospectively electrocardiogram-gated thoracoabdominal CTA reconstructed at each 12.5% of the R wave to R wave (R-R) interval. Two observers in consensus scored the coronary arteries per segment (15-segment American Heart Association model) for image quality, stenosis grade, and stenosis-assessment confidence.
Nondiagnostic image quality prohibited coronary evaluation in 14 patients. In the remaining patients, 2% of segments was scored absent, 24% was scored nondiagnostic, 12% was scored diagnostically limited, and 61% was scored at least acceptable. Acceptable or higher image quality was seen in 82% of the proximal and middle segments. Significant stenosis (>50%) was seen in 57% of the patients. Stenosis-severity scoring confidence was moderate to high in 79% of 673 assessable segments.
Electrocardiogram-gated thoracoabdominal CTA allows concomitant assessment of the proximal and middle coronary arteries and may serve as a combined tool for aortic-disease workup. Aortic CTA showed significant coronary artery stenosis in 57% of the patients evaluated for aortic pathology.