Clinical applications of cardiac CT angiography.

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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Insights Imaging.

Volume 1, Issue 4, September 2010, Pages 205-222.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1007/s13244-010-0038-3. Copyright © Springer.


ECG-gated multislice CT provides a cost-effective, non-invasive technology for evaluation of the coronary arteries, as well as for additional clinical applications, which require morphological assessment of the heart and adjacent structures with simultaneous evaluation of the coronary circulation.The excellent negative predictive value of a normal coronary CTA (cCTA) examination excludes the presence of significant coronary disease in the symptomatic patient. Triple rule-out studies provide evaluation of the aorta and pulmonary arteries without loss of image quality in the coronary circulation. The ability to visualize surrounding vascular structures along with the coronary arteries is essential in the evaluation of coronary anomalies.Cardiac CTA is useful in non-coronary applications, including evaluation of the thoracic aorta, cardiac valves and other aspects of cardiac morphology that may require surgical or percutaneous repair. Although radiation exposure is a limitation of cCTA relative to echocardiography and MRI, recent technological advances allow coronary imaging with effective doses as low as 1 mSv.Recent advances in evaluation of coronary plaque morphology as well as myocardial perfusion will allow a more complete noninvasive cardiac assessment in the future and may provide a highly effective method of cardiac risk stratification to facilitate preventive cardiac care.