Optimal image reconstruction phase at low and high heart rates in dual-source CT coronary angiography

Philip A. Araoz, Jacobo Kirsch, Andrew N. Primak, Natalie N. Braun, Osama Saba, Eric E. Williamson, W. Scott Harmsen, Jayawant N. Mandrekar, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the cardiac phase having the highest coronary sharpness for low and high heart rate patients scanned with dual source CT (DSCT) and to compare coronary image sharpness over different cardiac phases. DSCT coronary CT scans for 30 low heart rate (≤70 beats per minute- bpm) and 30 high heart rate (>70 bpm) patients were reconstructed into different cardiac phases, starting at 30% and increasing at 5% increments until 70%. A blinded observer graded image sharpness per coronary segment, from which sharpness scores were produced for the right (RCA), left main (LM), left anterior descending (LAD), and circumflex (Cx) coronary arteries. For each coronary artery, the phase with maximal image sharpness was identified with repeated measures analysis of variance. Comparison of coronary sharpness between low and high heart rate patients was made using generalized estimating equations. For low heart rates the highest sharpness scores for all four vessels (RCA, LM, LAD, and Cx) were at the 65 or 70% phase, which are end-diastolic cardiac phases. For high heart rates the highest sharpness scores were between the 35 and 45% phases, which are end-systolic phases. Low heart rate patients had higher coronary sharpness at most cardiac phases; however, patients with high heart rates had higher coronary sharpness in the 45% phase for all four vessels (P < 0.0001). Using DSCT scanning, optimal image sharpness is obtained in end-diastole at low heart rates and in end-systole in high heart rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-845
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • CT coronary angiography, artifact
  • Dual-source CT
  • ECG gating
  • Image quality
  • Motion artifact
  • Radiographic image enhancement
  • Reproducibility of results
  • Tomography, X-ray computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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