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Journal of Thoracic Imaging:
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e3181cc05e6

Imaging of Congenital Cardiovascular Disease: The Case for Computed Tomography

Hlavacek, Anthony Marcus MD, MSCR

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Computed tomographic angiography is a rapidly evolving modality that is well suited for congenital cardiac imaging. Although echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging carry an established role for evaluating patients with congenital cardiovascular disease, computed tomographic angiography provides important advantages over each of these modalities in certain clinical scenarios. Its practicality, high spatial resolution, inherent 3-dimensional nature, and decreased need for sedation make it a very useful tool in this patient population. This study reviews the utility of computed tomographic angiography and addresses the risks and benefits of this modality in comparison with other imaging modalities. Despite the exposure to ionizing radiation, newer technologies and techniques are being introduced that are decreasing the risks associated with computed tomographic imaging to exceedingly small levels. When viewed in the context of other risks these patients encounter, computed tomographic angiography is a useful adjunct to echocardiography in patients with congenital heart disease and is often preferable to magnetic resonance imaging in certain patients.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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