The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between intraluminal appearances of coronary plaques and left coronary bifurcation angle and plaque components using coronary CT virtual intravascular endoscopy (VIE). Fifty patients suspected of coronary artery disease undergoing coronary CT angiography were included in the study. The left bifurcation angle in patients with diseased left coronary artery which was measured as 94.3° ± 16.5 is significantly larger than that in patients with normal left coronary artery, which was measured as 76.5° ± 15.9 (P < 0.001). Irregular VIE appearances were found in 10 out of 11 patients with mixed plaques in the left anterior descending (LAD) and left circumflex (LCx), while, in 29 patients with calcified plaques in the LAD and LCx, irregular VIE appearances were only noticed in 5 patients. Using 80° as a cut-off value to determine coronary artery disease, smooth VIE appearances were found in 95% of patients (18/19) with left bifurcation angle of less than 80°, while irregular VIE appearances were observed in nearly 50% of patients (15/31) with left bifurcation angle of more than 80°. This preliminary study shows that VIE appearances of the coronary lumen are directly related to the types of plaques.
Coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography has been increasingly used in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease due to improved spatial and temporal resolution with high diagnostic value being reported when compared to invasive coronary angiography. Diagnostic performance of coronary CT angiography has been significantly improved with the technological developments in multislice CT scanners from the early generation of 4-slice CT to the latest 320- slice CT scanners. Despite the promising diagnostic value, coronary CT angiography is still limited in some areas, such as inferior temporal resolution, motion-related artifacts and high false positive results due to severe calcification. The aim of this review is to present an overview of the technical developments of multislice CT and diagnostic value of coronary CT angiography in coronary artery disease based on different generations of multislice CT scanners. Prognostic value of coronary CT angiography in coronary artery disease is also discussed, while limitations and challenges of coronary CT angiography are highlighted.
Coronary artery disease; Coronary CT angiography; Diagnostic value; Multislice CT; Artifacts
With the introduction of 64- and post-64 slice computed tomography (CT) technology, coronary CT angiography has been increasingly used as a less invasive modality for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Despite its high diagnostic value and promising results compared to invasive coronary angiography, coronary CT angiography is associated with high radiation dose, leading to potential risk of radiation-induced cancer. A variety of dose-reduction strategies have been reported recently to reduce radiation dose with effective outcomes having been achieved. This article presents an overview of the various methods currently used for radiation dose reduction.
Coronary artery disease; Coronary computed tomography angiography; Multislice computed tomography; Radiation dose; Dose reduction
Coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography is associated with high radiation dose and this has raised serious concerns in the literature. Awareness of various parameters for dose estimates and measurements of coronary CT angiography plays an important role in increasing our understanding of the radiation exposure to patients, thus, contributing to the implementation of dose-saving strategies. This article provides an overview of the radiation dose quantity and its measurement during coronary CT angiography procedures.
Coronary computed tomography angiography; Dose measurement; Dose quantity; Multislice computed tomography; Radiation dose
The aim of this article is to discuss the protocol of beta-blockers that is commonly used for prospectively ECG-triggered coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). It is essential to ensure a low and regular heart rate in patients undergoing prospectively ECG-triggered CCTA for optimal visualization of coronary arteries. Although early generations of computed tomographyscanners are not applicable to be tailored according to patients’ heart rate, a low and regular heart rate is possible to be achieved by the administration of medications according to the beta-blocker protocol. Beta-blocker can be safely administered to reduce patients’ heart rate for CCTA examination if patients are screened for certain contraindications.
Beta-blockers; Coronary computed tomography angiography; Heart rate; Prospective ECG-triggering
Coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography has been recognized as the most rapidly developed imaging technique in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease due to the emergence and technological advances in multislice CT scanners. Coronary CT angiography has been confirmed to demonstrate high diagnostic and predictive value in coronary artery disease when compared to invasive coronary angiography. However, it suffers from high radiation dose which raises concerns in the medical field. Various dose-reduction strategies have been proposed with effective outcomes having been achieved to reduce radiation exposure to patients. This article provides an introduction and overview of the series of articles that will focus on each particular topic related to coronary CT angiography.
Coronary artery disease; Coronary computed tomography angiography; Radiation dose; Diagnostic value; Predictive value
Rapid technological developments in computed tomography (CT) imaging technique have made coronary CT angiography an attractive imaging tool in the detection of coronary artery disease. Despite visualization of excellent anatomical details of the coronary lumen changes, coronary CT angiography does not provide hemodynamic changes caused by presence of plaques. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a widely used method in the mechanical engineering field to solve complex problems through analysing fluid flow, heat transfer and associated phenomena by using computer simulations. In recent years, CFD is increasingly used in biomedical research due to high performance hardware and software. CFD techniques have been used to study cardiovascular hemodynamics through simulation tools to assist in predicting the behaviour of circulatory blood flow inside the human body. Blood flow plays a key role in the localization and progression of coronary artery disease. CFD simulation based on 3D luminal reconstructions can be used to analyse the local flow fields and flow profiling due to changes of vascular geometry, thus, identifying risk factors for development of coronary artery disease. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the coronary CT-derived CFD applications in coronary artery disease.
Computational fluid dynamics; Coronary artery disease; Hemodynamics; Modelling
Concerns about ionizing radiation during interventional cardiology have been increased in recent years as a result of rapid growth in interventional procedure volumes and the high radiation doses associated with some procedures. Noncancer radiation risks to cardiologists and medical staff in terms of radiation-induced cataracts and skin injuries for patients appear clear potential consequences of interventional cardiology procedures, while radiation-induced potential risk of developing cardiovascular effects remains less clear. This paper provides an overview of the evidence-based reviews of concerns about noncancer risks of radiation exposure in interventional cardiology. Strategies commonly undertaken to reduce radiation doses to both medical staff and patients during interventional cardiology procedures are discussed; optimisation of interventional cardiology procedures is highlighted.
This work aims to validate the clinical significance of coronary artery calcium score (CACS) in predicting coronary artery disease
(CAD) and cardiac events in 100 symptomatic patients (aged 37–87 years, mean 62.5, 81 males) that were followed up for a mean of 5 years.
Our results showed that patients with CAD and cardiac events had significantly higher CACS than those without CAD and cardiac events, respectively.
The corresponding data were 1450.42 ± 3471.24 versus 130 ± 188.29 (P < 0.001) for CAD, and 1558.67 ± 513.29 versus 400.46 ± 104.47 (P = 0.031)
for cardiac events. Of 72 patients with CAD, cardiac events were found in 56 (77.7%) patients.
The prevalence of cardiac events in our cohort was 13.3% for calcium score 0,
50% for score 11–100, 56% for score 101–400, 68.7% for score 401–1,000, and 75.0% for score >1000.
Increased CACS (>100) was also associated with an increased frequency of multi-vessel disease.
Nonetheless, 3 (20%) out of 15 patients with zero CACS had single-vessel disease.
Significant correlation (P < 0.001) was observed between CACS and CAD on a vessel-based analysis for coronary arteries.
It is concluded that CACS is significantly correlated with CAD and cardiac events.
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in advanced countries and its prevalence is increasing among the developing countries. Cardiac computed tomography (CT) has been increasingly used in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease due to its rapid improvements in multislice CT scanners over the last decade, and this less-invasive technique has become a potentially effective alternative to invasive coronary angiography. Quantifying the amount of coronary artery calcium with cardiac CT has been widely accepted as a reliable non-invasive technique for predicting risk of future cardiovascular events. However, the main question that remains uncertain is whether routine, widespread coronary artery calcium scoring in an individual patient will result in an overall improvement in quality of care and clinical outcomes. In this commentary, we discuss a current issue of the clinical value of coronary artery calcium scoring with regard to its value of predicting adverse cardiac events. We also discuss the applications of coronary artery calcium scores in patients with different risk groups.
Cardiac computed tomography; Coronary artery calcium; Coronary artery disease; Predictive value; Plaque
Chondroid lipoma is a rare and unusual benign soft tissue lesion. Although there have been several reports of the imaging findings of chondroid lipoma, very few described the radiographic calcification or ossification in a chondroid lipoma. We present a case of chondroid lipoma with adipose tissue and ossified components on plain radiography and MRI images. Correlation of imaging findings and pathological examination is provided to confirm the diagnosis.
Chondroid lipoma; soft tissue; radiography; magnetic resonance imaging
Computed tomography has undergone rapid developments over the last decades, in particular, the emergence and technological improvements of multislice CT scanners enable satisfactory performance of cardiac CT imaging. Cardiac CT has been widely used in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, which is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries. Cardiac CT also provides valuable information to predict the extent and prognosis of coronary artery disease. The main disadvantage of cardiac CT imaging is radiation dose, which raises concern in recent years, as there is potential risk of radiation-induced malignancy. This article will provide an overview of the current research status of cardiac CT imaging in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, highlight the key applications of cardiac CT imaging and briefly discuss future directions of this fast advancing technique.
Cardiac computed tomography; coronary artery disease; diagnosis; radiation
Despite the tremendous contributions of coronary CT angiography to coronary artery disease, radiation dose associated with coronary CT angiography has raised serious concerns in the literature, as the risk of developing radiation-induced malignancy is not negligible. Various dose-saving strategies have been implemented, with some of the strategies resulting in significant dose reduction. Of these strategies, prospective ECG-triggering is one of the most effective techniques with resultant effective radiation dose similar to or even lower than that of invasive coronary angiography. Prospective ECG-triggered coronary CT angiography has been reported to have high diagnostic accuracy in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease with image quality comparable to that of retrospective ECG-gating, but with significantly reduced radiation dose. Successful performance of prospective ECG-triggering is determined by strict exclusion criteria and careful patient preparation. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the diagnostic applications of coronary CT angiography with prospective ECG-triggering with focus on radiation dose reduction. Radiation dose measurements are discussed with aim of allowing accurate dose estimation. Diagnostic value of prospective ECG-triggered coronary CT angiography in patients with different heart rate is discussed. Finally, current status and future directions are highlighted.
Coronary artery disease; coronary CT angiography; image quality; prospective ECG-triggering; radiation dose
This study characterizes the distribution and components of plaque structure by presenting a three-dimensional blood-vessel modelling with the aim of determining mechanical properties due to the effect of lipid core and calcification within a plaque. Numerical simulation has been used to answer how cap thickness and calcium distribution in lipids influence the biomechanical stress on the plaque.
Modelling atherosclerotic plaque based on structural analysis confirms the rationale for plaque mechanical examination and the feasibility of our simulation model. Meaningful validation of predictions from modelled atherosclerotic plaque model typically requires examination of bona fide atherosclerotic lesions. To analyze a more accurate plaque rupture, fluid-structure interaction is applied to three-dimensional blood-vessel carotid bifurcation modelling. A patient-specific pressure variation is applied onto the plaque to influence its vulnerability.
Modelling of the human atherosclerotic artery with varying degrees of lipid core elasticity, fibrous cap thickness and calcification gap, which is defined as the distance between the fibrous cap and calcification agglomerate, form the basis of our rupture analysis. Finite element analysis shows that the calcification gap should be conservatively smaller than its threshold to maintain plaque stability. The results add new mechanistic insights and methodologically sound data to investigate plaque rupture mechanics.
Structural analysis using a three-dimensional calcified model represents a more realistic simulation of late-stage atherosclerotic plaque. We also demonstrate that increases of calcium content that is coupled with a decrease in lipid core volume can stabilize plaque structurally.
atherosclerosis; calcification; fibrous cap; lipids; plaque rupture
This study was to investigate the hemodynamic effect of simulated plaques in left coronary artery models, which were generated from a sample patient's data. Plaques were simulated and placed at the left main stem and the left anterior descending (LAD) to produce at least 60% coronary stenosis. Computational fluid dynamics analysis was performed to simulate realistic physiological conditions that reflect the in vivo cardiac hemodynamics, and comparison of wall shear stress (WSS) between Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid models was performed. The pressure gradient (PSG) and flow velocities in the left coronary artery were measured and compared in the left coronary models with and without presence of plaques during cardiac cycle. Our results showed that the highest PSG was observed in stenotic regions caused by the plaques. Low flow velocity areas were found at postplaque locations in the left circumflex, LAD, and bifurcation. WSS at the stenotic locations was similar between the non-Newtonian and Newtonian models although some more details were observed with non-Newtonian model. There is a direct correlation between coronary plaques and subsequent hemodynamic changes, based on the simulation of plaques in the realistic coronary models.
AIM: To investigate the research directions of coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) based on a systematic review of the literature.
METHODS: A search of articles on coronary CT angiography in the diagnosis of CAD was performed during a 6-year-period between 2005 and 2010 from five main radiology journals namely, Radiology, American Journal of Roentgenology, European Radiology, European Journal of Radiology and British Journal of Radiology. Analysis of the references was focused on the research directions of coronary CT angiography with regard to the type of studies in terms of diagnostic value, application of dose-reduction strategies and resultant effective radiation doses with use of these techniques.
RESULTS: One hundred and forty two studies were identified which met the selection criteria and were included in the analysis. 64-slice CT (single source and dual-source CT) dominated 78% of the coronary CT angiography studies. Prior to 2007, research was focused on the diagnostic value of coronary CT angiography, but since 2008 more attention has been paid to radiation dose reduction. Radiation dose was reported in 64 studies, representing 45% of total studies published in the five radiology journals. Various dose-saving strategies have been implemented and prospective electrocardiography-triggering and high pitch techniques were found to be the most effective approaches for radiation dose reduction, with the corresponding mean effective dose being 3.5 ± 1.9 mSv and 1.7 ± 0.6 mSv, respectively.
CONCLUSION: This review shows that the current research in coronary CT angiography has shifted from the previous focus on diagnostic accuracy in CAD to more emphasis on radiation dose reduction.
Coronary artery disease; Diagnostic value; Multislice computed tomography; Radiation dose; Risk
AIM: To present our experience of using 3D virtual intravascular endoscopy (VIE) to characterize and evaluate the intraluminal appearances of aortic dissection.
METHODS: Ten patients with known aortic dissection underwent dual-source computed tomography angiography and were included in the study. In addition to 2D axial and multiplanar reformatted images as well as 3D reconstructions, VIE images were created in each patient to demonstrate intraluminal views of the aorta and its branches, origin of artery branches and artery branch involvement by aortic dissection.
RESULTS: Stanford A dissection was found in 8 patients and B dissection in the remaining 2 patients. VIE images were successfully generated in all of the patients with excellent visualization of the normal anatomical structures, intimal flap and intimal entrance tear, communication between true and false lumens, as well as assessment of the extent of aortic dissection.
CONCLUSION: Our preliminary experience suggests that VIE could be used as a complementary tool to assist radiologists accurately evaluate aortic dissection so that better patient management can be achieved.
Aortic dissection; Computed tomography; 3D visualization; Virtual intravascular endoscopy
Multislice computed tomography (CT) angiography has been increasingly used in the detection and diagnosis of coronary artery disease because of its rapid technical evolution from the early generation of 4-slice CT scanners to the latest models such as 64-slice, 256-slice and 320-slice CT scanners. Technical developments of multislice CT imaging enable improved diagnostic value in the detection of coronary artery disease, and this indicates that multislice CT can be used as a reliable less-invasive alternative to invasive coronary angiography in selected patients. In addition, multislice CT angiography has played a significant role in the prediction of disease progression and cardiac events. Despite promising results reported in the literature, multislice CT has the disadvantage of having a high radiation dose which could contribute to the radiation-induced malignancy. A variety of strategies have been currently undertaken to reduce the radiation dose associated with multislice CT coronary angiography while in the meantime acquiring diagnostic images. In this article, the author will review the technical developments, radiation dose associated with multislice CT coronary angiography, and strategies to reduce radiation dose. The diagnostic and prognostic value of multislice CT angiography in coronary artery disease is briefly discussed, and future directions of multislice CT angiography in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease will also be highlighted.
Coronary artery disease; Computed tomography; Diagnostic value; Radiation dose; Radiation risk
Multislice CT has been widely used in clinical practice for diagnosing cardiovascular disease due to its reduced invasiveness and its high spatial and temporal resolution. As a reliable alternative to conventional pulmonary angiography, multislice CT angiography has been recognized as the first line technique for detecting and diagnosing pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism located in the main pulmonary artery, as well as being located in the segmental branches, can be accurately detected with multislice CT imaging, and especially with the use of 16- and 64-slice CT scanners. Visualization of pulmonary embolisms has traditionally been limited to 2D, multiplanar reformation and the 3D external surface visualizations. In this pictorial review, we present our experience of using 3D virtual intravascular endoscopy to characterize and evaluate the intraluminal appearance of pulmonary embolisms in a group of patients who were suspected of having pulmonary embolism and who were undergoing multislice CT angiography. We expect that the research findings from this study will provide insight into the extent of disease and the luminal changes to the pulmonary arteries that are due to the presence of thrombus, and so monitoring of the progress of disease and predicting the treatment outcome can well be achieved.
Multislice CT; Pulmonary embolism; 3D visualization; Virtual intravascular endoscopy
We wanted to investigate the hemodynamic effect of fenestrated stents on the renal arteries with using a fluid structure interaction method.
Materials and Methods
Two representative patients who each had abdominal aortic aneurysm that was treated with fenestrated stent grafts were selected for the study. 3D realistic aorta models for the main artery branches and aneurysm were generated based on the multislice CT scans from two patients with different aortic geometries. The simulated fenestrated stents were designed and modelled based on the 3D intraluminal appearance, and these were placed inside the renal artery with an intra-aortic protrusion of 5.0-7.0 mm to reflect the actual patients' treatment. The stent wire thickness was simulated with a diameter of 0.4 mm and hemodynamic analysis was performed at different cardiac cycles.
Our results showed that the effect of the fenestrated stent wires on the renal blood flow was minimal because the flow velocity was not significantly affected when compared to that calculated at pre-stent graft implantation, and this was despite the presence of recirculation patterns at the proximal part of the renal arteries. The wall pressure was found to be significantly decreased after fenestration, yet no significant change of the wall shear stress was noticed at post-fenestration, although the wall shear stress was shown to decrease slightly at the proximal aneurysm necks.
Our analysis demonstrates that the hemodynamic effect of fenestrated renal stents on the renal arteries is insignificant. Further studies are needed to investigate the effect of different lengths of stent protrusion with variable stent thicknesses on the renal blood flow, and this is valuable for understanding the long-term outcomes of fenestrated repair.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Stent graft; Fenestration, renal artery; Flow analysis
Endovascular stent graft repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) has undergone rapid developments since it was introduced in the early 1990s. Two main types of aortic stent grafts have been developed and are currently being used in clinical practice to deal with patients with complicated or unsuitable aneurysm necks, namely, suprarenal and fenestrated stent grafts. Helical computed tomography angiography has been widely recognized as the method of choice for both pre-operative planning and post-operative follow-up of endovascular repair (EVAR). In addition to 2D axial images, a number of 2D and 3D reconstructions are generated to provide additional information about imaging of the stent grafts in relation to the aortic aneurysm diameter and extent, encroachment of stent wires to the renal artery ostium and position of the fenestrated vessel stents. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of applications of EVAR of AAA and diagnostic applications of 2D and 3D image visualizations in the assessment of treatment outcomes of EVAR. Interference of stent wires with renal blood flow from the hemodynamic point of view will also be discussed, and future directions explored.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm; Stent graft; Computed tomography; Image visualization; Three-dimensional reconstruction; Follow-up
Fenestrated endovascular repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm has been developed to treat patients with a short or complicated aneurysm neck. Fenestration involves creating an opening in the graft fabric to accommodate the orifice of the vessel that is targeted for preservation. Fixation of the fenestration to the renal arteries and the other visceral arteries can be done by implanting bare or covered stents across the graft-artery ostia interfaces so that a portion of the stent protrudes into the aortic lumen. Accurate alignment of the targeted vessels in a longitudinal aspect is hard to achieve during stent deployment because rotation of the stent graft may take place during delivery from the sheath. Understanding the 3D relationship of the aortic branches and the fenestrated vessel stents following fenestration will aid endovascular specialists to evaluate how the stent graft is situated within the aorta after placement of fenestrations. The aim of this article is to provide the 2D and 3D imaging appearances of the fenestrated endovascular grafts that were implanted in a group of patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms, based on the multislice CT angiography. The potential applications of each visualization technique were explored and compared with the 2D axial images.
Fenestration; Endovascular repair; Aortic aneurysm; Three-dimensional imaging
The prediction of protein-protein binding site can provide structural annotation to the protein interaction data from proteomics studies. This is very important for the biological application of the protein interaction data that is increasing rapidly. Moreover, methods for predicting protein interaction sites can also provide crucial information for improving the speed and accuracy of protein docking methods.
In this work, we describe a binding site prediction method by designing a new residue neighbour profile and by selecting only the core-interface residues for SVM training. The residue neighbour profile includes both the sequential and the spatial neighbour residues of an interface residue, which is a more complete description of the physical and chemical characteristics surrounding the interface residue. The concept of core interface is applied in selecting the interface residues for training the SVM models, which is shown to result in better discrimination between the core interface and other residues.
The best SVM model trained was tested on a test set of 50 randomly selected proteins. The sensitivity, specificity, and MCC for the prediction of the core interface residues were 60.6%, 53.4%, and 0.243, respectively. Our prediction results on this test set were compared with other three binding site prediction methods and found to perform better. Furthermore, our method was tested on the 101 unbound proteins from the protein-protein interaction benchmark v2.0. The sensitivity, specificity, and MCC of this test were 57.5%, 32.5%, and 0.168, respectively.
By improving both the descriptions of the interface residues and their surrounding environment and the training strategy, better SVM models were obtained and shown to outperform previous methods. Our tests on the unbound protein structures suggest further improvement is possible.
Helical CT angiography has been widely used in both pre- and post-aortic stent grafting and it has been confirmed to be the preferred modality when compared to conventional angiography. The recent development of multislice CT (MSCT) has further enhanced the applications of CT angiography for aortic stent grafting. One of the advantages of MSCT angiography over conventional angiography is that the 3D reconstructions, based on the volumetric CT data, provide additional information during follow-up of aortic stent grafting. While endovascular repair has been increasingly used in clinical practice, the use of 3D MSCT imaging in endovascular repair continues to play an important role. In this pictorial essay, we aimed to discuss the diagnostic performance of 3D MSCT angiography in post aortic stent grafting, including the most commonly used surface shaded display, curvilinear reformation, the maximum intensity projection, volume rendering and virtual endoscopy. The advantages and disadvantages of each 3D reconstruction are also explored.
Aneurysm, abdominal; Computed tomography (CT); Stents and prostheses; Images, processing