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1.  Late Gadolinium Enhancement Amount As an Independent Risk Factor for the Incidence of Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Stage C or D Heart Failure 
Background: Myocardial fibrosis (MF) is a risk factor for poor prognosis in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) of the myocardium on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) represents MF. We examined whether the LGE amount increases the incidence of adverse cardiovascular events in patients with stage C or D heart failure (HF).
Methods: Eighty-four consecutive patients with stage C or D HF, either ischemic or non-ischemic, were enrolled. Comprehensive clinical and CMR evaluations were performed. All patients were followed up for a composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, heart transplantation, and cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D).
Results: LGE was present in 79.7% of the end-stage HF patients. LGE distribution patterns were mid-wall, epi-myocardial, endo-myocardial, and the morphological patterns were patchy, transmural, and diffuse. During the average follow-up of 544 days, 13 (15.5%) patients had endpoint events: 7 patients cardiac death, 2 patients heart transplantation, and 4 patients underwent CRT-D implantation. On univariate analysis, LGE quantification on cardiac magnetic resonance, blood urine nitrogen, QRS duration on electrocardiogram, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD), and left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) on CMR had the strongest associations with the composite endpoint events. However, on multivariate analysis for both Model I (after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index) and Model II (after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, renal function, QRS duration, and atrial fibrillation on electrocardiogram, the etiology of HF, LVEF, CMR-LVEDD, and CMR-LVEDV), LGE amount was a significant risk factor for composite endpoint events (Model I 6SD HR 1.037, 95%CI 1.005–1.071, p = 0.022; Model II 6SD HR 1.045, 95%CI 1.001–1.084, p = 0.022).
Conclusion: LGE amount from high-scale threshold on CMR increased the incidence of adverse cardiovascular events for patients in either stage C or D HF.
PMCID: PMC5083842  PMID: 27840608
heart failure; magnetic resonance imaging; late gadolinium enhancement; prognosis; adverse cardiovascular events
2.  Ideal glycated hemoglobin cut‐off points for screening diabetes and prediabetes in a Chinese population 
The aims of the present study were to evaluate the diagnostic value of fasting plasma glucose, 2‐h postload plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) measurements in the screening of diabetes and prediabetes, and to determine the cut‐off point of HbA1c in the diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes in a Chinese population.
Materials and Methods
A total of 7,611 individuals aged 40 years or older, who did not have a prior history of diabetes, were randomly selected in the Changchun area. For each participant, a questionnaire was completed, and a physical examination and an oral glucose tolerance test were carried out. The values of fasting plasma glucose, 2‐h postload plasma glucose and HbA1c were compared by area under the receiver operating characteristic curves. The Youden index was used to identify the optimal cut‐off point of HbA1c in the diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes.
The prevalence of newly diagnosed diabetes and prediabetes was 12.71% and 29.39%, respectively. In participants with newly diagnosed diabetes, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.8368 for fasting plasma glucose, 0.9330 for 2‐h postload plasma glucose and 0.8064 for HbA1c; whereas for prediabetes, these values were 0.8022, 0.9288 and 0.6895, respectively. In addition, an HbA1c threshold of 6.3% showed the highest Youden index (0.4799) for detecting diabetes; furthermore, an HbA1c threshold of 5.8% showed the highest Youden index (0.2866) for detecting prediabetes.
HbA1c ≥6.3% (45 mmol/mol) and between 5.8% and 6.2% (40–44 mmol/mol) were the optimal cut‐off values for the diagnosis of diabetes and prediabetes, respectively, in a Chinese population.
PMCID: PMC5009131  PMID: 27181567
Chinese adults; Receiver operating characteristic curves; Type 2 diabetes mellitus
3.  Recent Update on Radiation Dose Assessment for the State-of-the-Art Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography Protocols 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(8):e0161543.
This study aimed to measure the absorbed doses in selected organs for prospectively ECG-triggered coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) using five different generations CT scanners in a female adult anthropomorphic phantom and to estimate the effective dose (HE).
Materials and Methods
Prospectively ECG-triggered CCTA was performed using five commercially available CT scanners: 64-detector-row single source CT (SSCT), 2 × 32-detector-row-dual source CT (DSCT), 2 × 64-detector-row DSCT and 320-detector-row SSCT scanners. Absorbed doses were measured in 34 organs using pre-calibrated optically stimulated luminescence dosimeters (OSLDs) placed inside a standard female adult anthropomorphic phantom. HE was calculated from the measured organ doses and compared to the HE derived from the air kerma-length product (PKL) using the conversion coefficient of 0.014 mSv∙mGy-1∙cm-1 for the chest region.
Both breasts and lungs received the highest radiation dose during CCTA examination. The highest HE was received from 2 × 32-detector-row DSCT scanner (6.06 ± 0.72 mSv), followed by 64-detector-row SSCT (5.60 ± 0.68 and 5.02 ± 0.73 mSv), 2 × 64-detector-row DSCT (1.88 ± 0.25 mSv) and 320-detector-row SSCT (1.34 ± 0.48 mSv) scanners. HE calculated from the measured organ doses were about 38 to 53% higher than the HE derived from the PKL-to-HE conversion factor.
The radiation doses received from a prospectively ECG-triggered CCTA are relatively small and are depending on the scanner technology and imaging protocols. HE as low as 1.34 and 1.88 mSv can be achieved in prospectively ECG-triggered CCTA using 320-detector-row SSCT and 2 × 64-detector-row DSCT scanners.
PMCID: PMC4994944  PMID: 27552224
4.  Diagnostic Value of Transthoracic Echocardiography in Patients With Anomalous Origin of the Left Coronary Artery From the Pulmonary Artery 
Medicine  2016;95(15):e3401.
Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare congenital coronary abnormality associated with early infant mortality and sudden death in adults. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) plays an important role in early detection and diagnosis of ALCAPA as a noninvasive modality. However, its diagnostic value is not well studied. The purpose of this study is to determine the performance of TTE in the diagnostic assessment of ALCAPA as compared with coronary CT and invasive coronary angiography.
A total of 22 patients (13 women and 9 men, mean age, 12.9 ± 19.5 years) with ALCAPA who underwent echocardiographic examination for clinical diagnosis were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. Transthoracic echocardiographic features of ALCAPA were analyzed and its diagnostic value was compared with invasive coronary angiography and coronary CT angiography (CTA) with surgical findings serving as the gold standard. Surgery was performed in all of the patients to establish the dual coronary artery system. Five underwent the Takeuchi procedure and 17 had re-implantation of the anomalous left coronary artery. Of 20 patients, echocardiographic diagnoses were in good agreement with findings at surgery, resulting in the diagnostic accuracy of 90.9%. Two cases were misdiagnosed—one as the right coronary artery to pulmonary artery fistula and the other as rheumatic heart disease. The echocardiographic features of these patients with ALCAPA included: abnormal left coronary ostium arising from the pulmonary trunk with retrograde coronary artery flow in 20 patients; enlargement of the right coronary artery in 17 patients; abundant intercoronary septal collaterals in 17 patients; and moderate and significant mitral regurgitation in 14 patients. The diagnostic accuracy of invasive coronary angiography (in 17 patients) and coronary CTA (in 9 patients) was 100%.
This study shows that TTE is an accurate, noninvasive imaging modality for displaying the origin of coronary arteries and demonstrating the coronary courses as well as other associated abnormalities in patients with ALCAPA.
PMCID: PMC4839860  PMID: 27082616
7.  Coronary CT Angiography in Heavily Calcified Coronary Arteries: Improvement of Coronary Lumen Visualization and Coronary Stenosis Assessment With Image Postprocessing Methods 
Medicine  2015;94(48):e2148.
To compare the diagnostic value of coronary CT angiography (CCTA) with use of 2 image postprocessing methods (CCTA_S) and (CCTA_OS) and original data (CCTA_O) for the assessment of heavily calcified plaques.
Fifty patients (41 men, 9 women; mean age 61.9 years ± 9.1) with suspected coronary artery disease who underwent CCTA and invasive coronary angiography (ICA) examinations were included in the study. Image data were postprocessed with “sharpen” and smooth reconstruction algorithms in comparison with the original data without undergoing any image postprocessing to determine the effects on suppressing blooming artifacts due to heavy calcification in the coronary arteries. Minimal lumen diameter and degree of stenosis were measured and compared between CCTA_S, CCTA_OS, and CCTA_O with ICA as the reference method. The area under the curve (AUC) by receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis (ROC) was also compared among these 3 CCTA techniques.
On a per-vessel assessment, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value, and 95% confidence interval (CI) were 100% (95% CI: 89%, 100%), 33% (95% CI: 22%, 45%), 41% (95% CI: 30%, 53%), 100% (95% CI: 85%, 100%) for CCTA_O, 94% (95% CI: 79%, 99%), 66% (95% CI: 54%, 77%), 57% (95% CI: 43%, 70%), and 95% (95% CI: 85%, 99%) for CCTA_S, 94% (95% CI: 79%, 99%), 44% (95% CI: 32%, 57%), 44% (95% CI: 32%, 57%), and 97% (95% CI: 79%, 99%) for CCTA_OS, respectively. The AUC by ROC curve analysis for CCTA_S showed significant improvement for detection of >50% coronary stenosis in left anterior descending coronary artery compared to that of CCTA_OS and CCTA_O methods (P < 0.05), with no significance differences for detection of coronary stenosis in the left circumflex and right coronary arteries (P > 0.05).
CCTA with “sharpen” reconstruction reduces blooming artifacts from heavy calcification, thus, leading to significant improvement of specificity and positive predictive value of CCTA in patients with heavily calcified plaques. However, specificity is still moderate and additional functional imaging may be needed.
PMCID: PMC4674198  PMID: 26632895
8.  Impact of Cardiovascular Risk Factors on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Degree of Severity: A Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(12):e0144182.
Age, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes are common cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis in cardiovascular system including carotid artery disease. However, the impact of these risk factors on the increased carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and degree of carotid severity remains to be further clarified. This study aims to evaluate the relationship between CVRFs and degree of carotid severity and cIMT in high-risk subjects.
Four thousand and three hundred ninety-four subjects with one or more risk factors were retrospectively reviewed in this study. Patients were divided into different groups based on age, the type and quantity of CVRFs. cIMT and degree of carotid artery stenosis were measured and analyzed based on carotid ultrasound imaging with findings compared to the CVRFs to determine the correlation between these variables.
Aging was significantly associated with degree of severity (P < 0.05) and cIMT was significantly increased with age (P < 0.05). Individual CVRF analysis shows that hypertension was more related to the degree of severity than dyslipidemia and diabetes with corresponding abnormal cIMT rates being 79.39%, 72.98% and 32.37%, respectively. The prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis were 20.06%, 22.88% and 28.63%, respectively corresponding to patients with zero, one and more than one chronic diseases. The percentage of abnormal cIMT in hypertensive patient group with dyslipidemia is significantly higher than the other groups (P< 0.05).
This study shows a direct correlation between the degree of carotid severity and cIMT and cardiovascular risk factors, especially with age and hypertension. Carotid atherosclerosis is closely related to the number of cardiovascular risk factors.
PMCID: PMC4670208  PMID: 26636669
10.  Dual Energy CT Angiography of Peripheral Arterial Disease: Feasibility of Using Lower Contrast Medium Volume 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(9):e0139275.
One of the main drawbacks associated with Dual Energy Computed Tomography Angiography (DECTA) is the risk of developing contrast medium-induced nephropathy (CIN). The aim of the present study was firstly, to design an optimal CT imaging protocol by determining the feasibility of using a reduced contrast medium volume in peripheral arterial DECTA, and secondly, to compare the results with those obtained from using routine contrast medium volume.
Thirty four patients underwent DECTA for the diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease. They were randomly divided into two groups: Group 1 (routine contrast volume group) with n = 17, injection rate 4–5 ml/s, and 1.5 ml/kg of contrast medium, and Group 2 ((low contrast volume group), with n = 17, injection rate 4–5ml/s, and contrast medium volume 0.75 ml/kg. A fast kilovoltage—switching 64-slice CT scanner in the dual-energy mode was employed for the study. A total of 6 datasets of monochromatic images at 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 75 keV levels were reconstructed with adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) at 50%. A 4-point scale was the tool for qualitative analysis of results. The two groups were compared and assessed quantitatively for image quality on the basis of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR). Radiation and contrast medium doses were also compared.
The overall mean CT attenuation and mean noise for all lower extremity body parts was significantly lower for the low volume contrast group (p<0.001), and varied significantly between groups (p = 0.001), body parts (p<0.001) and keVs (p<0.001). The interaction between group body parts was significant with CT attenuation and CNR (p = 0.002 and 0.003 respectively), and marginally significant with SNR (p = 0.047), with minimal changes noticed between the two groups. Group 2 (low contrast volume group) displayed the lowest image noise between 65 and 70 keV, recorded the highest SNR and CNR at 65 keV, and produced significantly lower results with respect to contrast medium volume and duration of contrast injection (p<0.001). The effect of radiation dose was not statistically significant between the two groups.
DECTA images created at 65 keV and 50% ASIR with low contrast medium volume protocol, yielded results that were comparable to routine contrast medium volume, with acceptable diagnostic images produced during the evaluation of peripheral arteries.
PMCID: PMC4587806  PMID: 26418007
11.  A Case Report of Gastrointestinal Basidiobolomycosis Treated With Voriconazole 
Medicine  2015;94(35):e1430.
Introduction: Basidiobolomycosis is an unusual fungal disease that rarely involves the visceral organs such as gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal basidiobolomycosis (GIB) has been increasingly reported in the literature, and it is an emerging disease from arid regions worldwide, in particular, the south-western Saudi Arabia. We report a case of GIB in a 36-year-old Saudi Arabian male patient showing resistance to itraconazole and best treated with voriconazole. Computed tomography showed diffusely thickened small bowel with edematous change.
Conclusions: As GIB presents diagnostic challenges due to lack of specific features, this case emphasizes the importance of considering GIB in the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with fever, abdominal pain with fast-growing abdominal mass.
PMCID: PMC4616499  PMID: 26334903
13.  Use of 100 kV versus 120 kV in computed tomography pulmonary angiography in the detection of pulmonary embolism: effect on radiation dose and image quality 
To determine the effective radiation dose and image quality resulting from 100 versus 120 kilovoltage (kV) protocols among patients referred for computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA).
Sixty-six patients with clinical suspicion of pulmonary embolism (PE) were prospectively enrolled. Two CTPA protocols (group A: n=33, 100 kV/115 mAs; group B: n=33, 120 kV/90 mAs) were compared. Two experienced radiologists assessed image quality in terms of diagnostic performance and effect of artefacts. Image quality parameters [CT attenuation, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR)] and effective radiation dose between the two protocols were compared.
The contrast enhancement in central and peripheral pulmonary arteries was significantly higher in group A than in group B (P<0.001) with the identical SNR (P=0.26), whereas the CNR was significantly higher in group A than in group B (P<0.001). The effective radiation dose for the 100 and 120 kV scans was 3.2 and 6.8 mSv, respectively.
Reducing the tube voltage from 120 to 100 kV in CTPA allows a significant reduction of radiation dose without significant loss of diagnostic image quality.
PMCID: PMC4559980  PMID: 26435916
Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA); image quality; radiation dose; pulmonary embolism (PE)
14.  Optimal Scanning Protocols for Dual-Energy CT Angiography in Peripheral Arterial Stents: An in Vitro Phantom Study 
Objective: To identify the optimal dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) scanning protocol for peripheral arterial stents while achieving a low radiation dose, while still maintaining diagnostic image quality, as determined by an in vitro phantom study. Methods: Dual-energy scans in monochromatic spectral imaging mode were performed on a peripheral arterial phantom with use of three gemstone spectral imaging (GSI) protocols, three pitch values, and four kiloelectron volts (keV) ranges. A total of 15 stents of different sizes, materials, and designs were deployed in the phantom. Image noise, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), different levels of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and the four levels of monochromatic energy for DECT imaging of peripheral arterial stents were measured and compared to determine the optimal protocols. Results: A total of 36 scans with 180 datasets were reconstructed from a combination of different protocols. There was a significant reduction of image noise with a higher SNR from monochromatic energy images between 65 and 70 keV in all investigated preset GSI protocols (p < 0.05). In addition, significant effects were found from the main effect analysis for these factors: GSI, pitch, and keV (p = 0.001). In contrast, there was significant interaction on the unstented area between GSI and ASIR (p = 0.015) and a very high significant difference between keV and ASIR (p < 0.001). A radiation dose reduction of 50% was achieved. Conclusions: The optimal scanning protocol and energy level in the phantom study were GSI-48, pitch value 0.984, and 65 keV, which resulted in lower image noise and a lower radiation dose, but with acceptable diagnostic images.
PMCID: PMC4463716  PMID: 26006234
dual-energy CT; gemstone spectral imaging; image noise; monochromatic image; peripheral arterial stent
15.  Virtual Intravascular Endoscopy Visualization of Calcified Coronary Plaques 
Medicine  2015;94(17):e805.
This study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of using 3D virtual intravascular endoscopy (VIE) as a novel approach for characterization of calcified coronary plaques with the aim of differentiating superficial from deep calcified plaques, thus improving assessment of coronary stenosis.
A total of 61 patients with suspected coronary artery disease were included in the study. Minimal lumen diameter (MLD) was measured and compared between coronary CT angiography (CCTA) (≥64-slice) and invasive coronary angiography (ICA) with regard to the measurement bias, whereas VIE findings were correlated with CCTA with respect to the diagnostic performance of coronary stenosis and the area under the curve (AUC) by receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis (ROC).
In all 3 coronary arteries, the CCTA consistently underestimated the MLD relative to the ICA (P < 0.001). On a per-vessel assessment, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value and 95% confidence interval (CI) were 94% (95% CI: 61%, 100%), 27% (95% CI: 18%, 38%), 33% (95% CI: 23%, 43%), and 92% (95% CI: 74%, 99%) for CCTA, and 100% (95% CI: 89%, 100%), 85% (95% CI: 75%, 92%), 71% (95% CI: 56%, 84%), and 100% (95% CI: 95%, 100%) for VIE, respectively. The AUC by ROC analysis for VIE demonstrated significant improvement in analysis of left anterior descending calcified plaques compared with CCTA (0.99 vs 0.60, P < 0.001), with better performance in the left circumflex and right coronary arteries (0.98 vs 0.84 and 0.77 vs 0.77, respectively; P = 0.07 and P = 0.96, respectively). There are no significant differences between 64-, 128-, and 640-slice CCTA and VIE in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value in the diagnosis of coronary stenosis.
This study shows the feasibility of using VIE for characterizing morphological features of calcified plaques, therefore, significantly improving assessment of coronary stenosis.
PMCID: PMC4603061  PMID: 25929936
16.  High-Pitch, Low-Voltage and Low-Iodine-Concentration CT Angiography of Aorta: Assessment of Image Quality and Radiation Dose with Iterative Reconstruction 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117469.
To assess the image quality of aorta obtained by dual-source computed tomography angiography (DSCTA), performed with high pitch, low tube voltage, and low iodine concentration contrast medium (CM) with images reconstructed using iterative reconstruction (IR).
One hundred patients randomly allocated to receive one of two types of CM underwent DSCTA with the electrocardiogram-triggered Flash protocol. In the low-iodine group, 50 patients received CM containing 270 mg I/mL and were scanned at low tube voltage (100 kVp). In the high-iodine CM group, 50 patients received CM containing 370 mg I/mL and were scanned at the tube voltage (120 kVp). The filtered back projection (FBP) algorithm was used for reconstruction in both groups. In addition, the IR algorithm was used in the low-iodine group. Image quality of the aorta was analyzed subjectively by a 3-point grading scale and objectively by measuring the CT attenuation in terms of the signal- and contrast-to-noise ratios (SNR and CNR, respectively). Radiation and CM doses were compared.
The CT attenuation, subjective image quality assessment, SNR, and CNR of various aortic regions of interest did not differ significantly between two groups. In the low-iodine group, images reconstructed by FBP and IR demonstrated significant differences in image noise, SNR, and CNR (p<0.05). The low-iodine group resulted in 34.3% less radiation (4.4 ± 0.5 mSv) than the high-iodine group (6.7 ± 0.6 mSv), and 27.3% less iodine weight (20.36 ± 2.65 g) than the high-iodine group (28 ± 1.98 g). Observers exhibited excellent agreement on the aortic image quality scores (κ = 0.904).
CT images of aorta could be obtained within 2 s by using a DSCT Flash protocol with low tube voltage, IR, and low-iodine-concentration CM. Appropriate contrast enhancement was achieved while maintaining good image quality and decreasing the radiation and iodine doses.
PMCID: PMC4314070  PMID: 25643353
17.  Evidence for myocardial CT perfusion imaging in the diagnosis of hemodynamically significant coronary artery disease 
This editorial discusses a recent paper published in the August issue of Radiology about the diagnostic value of myocardial computer tomography (CT) perfusion imaging in the detection of hemodynamically significant coronary stenosis when compared to single-photon emission CT (SPECT) imaging based on a secondary analysis of CORE320 study. Three aspects including high diagnostic sensitivity of CT perfusion imaging, moderate specificity of SPECT imaging and lack of use of attenuation correction in SPECT imaging have been discussed with reference to the current literature, and some suggestions have been highlighted for future studies to improve the diagnostic performance of CT perfusion and SPECT imaging in the diagnostic evaluation of coronary artery disease.
PMCID: PMC4329165  PMID: 25774349
Coronary artery disease; myocardial computer tomography (CT) perfusion; sensitivity; specificity; single-photon emission CT (SPECT)
18.  Noninvasive Physiologic Assessment of Coronary Stenoses Using Cardiac CT 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:435737.
Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) has become an important noninvasive imaging modality in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). CCTA enables accurate evaluation of coronary artery stenosis. However, CCTA provides limited information on the physiological significance of stenotic lesions. A noninvasive “one-stop-shop” diagnostic test that can provide both anatomical significance and functional significance of stenotic lesions would be beneficial in the diagnosis and management of CAD. Recently, with the introduction of novel techniques, such as myocardial CT perfusion, CT-derived fractional flow reserve (FFRCT), and transluminal attenuation gradient (TAG), CCTA has emerged as a noninvasive method for the assessment of both anatomy of coronary lesions and its physiological consequences during a single study. This review provides an overview of the current status of new CT techniques for the physiologic assessments of CAD.
PMCID: PMC4320886  PMID: 25685790
19.  Quantitative cardiovascular imaging 
PMCID: PMC4213415  PMID: 25392816
20.  CT angiography in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease: a transformation in cardiovascular CT practice 
Computed tomography (CT) angiography represents the most important technical development in CT imaging and it has challenged invasive angiography in the diagnostic evaluation of cardiovascular abnormalities. Over the last decades, technological evolution in CT imaging has enabled CT angiography to become a first-line imaging modality in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. This review provides an overview of the diagnostic applications of CT angiography (CTA) in cardiovascular disease, with a focus on selected clinical challenges in some common cardiovascular abnormalities, which include abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism (PE) and coronary artery disease. An evidence-based review is conducted to demonstrate how CT angiography has changed our approach in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease. Radiation dose reduction strategies are also discussed to show how CT angiography can be performed in a low-dose protocol in the current clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC4213417  PMID: 25392823
Cardiovascular disease; computed tomography angiography (CTA); diagnosis; visualisation
21.  Coronary CT Angiography in the Quantitative Assessment of Coronary Plaques 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:346380.
Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has been recently evaluated for its ability to assess coronary plaque characteristics, including plaque composition. Identification of the relationship between plaque composition by CCTA and patient clinical presentations may provide insight into the pathophysiology of coronary artery plaque, thus assisting identification of vulnerable plaques which are associated with the development of acute coronary syndrome. CCTA-generated 3D visualizations allow evaluation of both coronary lesions and lumen changes, which are considered to enhance the diagnostic performance of CCTA. The purpose of this review is to discuss the recent developments that have occurred in the field of CCTA with regard to its diagnostic accuracy in the quantitative assessment of coronary plaques, with a focus on the characterization of plaque components and identification of vulnerable plaques.
PMCID: PMC4138793  PMID: 25162010
22.  Cerebral CT angiography and CT perfusion in acute stroke detection: a systematic review of diagnostic value 
The purpose of this study was to analyse the diagnostic value of cerebral CT angiography (CTA) and CT perfusion (CTP) examinations in the detection of acute stroke based on a systematic review of the current literature. The review was conducted based on searching of seven databases for articles published between 1993 and 2013. Diagnostic value in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and accuracy was analysed from 21 articles which were found to meet selection criteria. The mean sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy for CTA were significantly higher than those for CTP with 83.2% (95% CI: 57.9-100.0%), 95.0% (95% CI: 74.4-100%), 84.1% (95% CI: 50.0-100%), 97.1 (95% CI: 94.0-100%) and 94.0% (95% CI: 83.0-99.0) versus 69.9% (95% CI: 20.0-97.0%), 87.4 (95% CI: 61.0-100.0%), 76.4% (95% CI: 48.0-95.4%), 78.2% (95% CI: 55.8-93.9%) and 89.8% (95% CI: 75.7-97.1%), respectively. This analysis shows that CTA has high diagnostic value in detecting high degree of cerebral arterial stenosis (>70%) whereas CTP provides high specificity in the detection of ischemia and infarct tissue of brain.
PMCID: PMC4137184  PMID: 25202664
Cerebral CT angiography; CT perfusion (CTP); acute stroke; diagnostic accuracy
23.  Ochrobactrum anthropi induced retropharyngeal abscess with mediastinal extension complicating airway obstruction: a case report 
Retropharyngeal abscess with involvement of mediastinal abscess represents an uncommon complication of upper respiratory tract infections. We report a case presenting with a large retropharyngeal abscess with airway obstruction as the primary presenting symptom. Contrast-enhanced CT showed a large retropharyngeal abscess in the neck with extension to the upper and posterior mediastinal spaces. The abscess was surgically excised with 200 cc pus drained from the neck and mediastinal regions. We describe this case to assist physicians in making the difficult diagnosis when confronting a patient with airway obstruction, as early recognition of retropharyngeal abscess permits emergent airway management.
PMCID: PMC4175841
Airway obstruction; mediastinal space; retropharyngeal abscess; treatment
25.  Atherosclerosis and Atheroma Plaque Rupture: Normal Anatomy of Vasa Vasorum and Their Role Associated with Atherosclerosis 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:285058.
Atherosclerosis is primarily a degenerative disorder related to aging with a chronic inflammatory component. There are differences in expression among different vascular beds, inflicting a range of vascular diseases. The majority of studies focus on the inner and medial vascular layers, which are affected at the development of atherosclerosis. Recent evidence shows that the outer layer of blood vessels, composed of the adventitial layer and the vasa vasorum, not only plays a significant role in maintaining vessel integrity, but also reacts to atheroma. What is not clear is the extent of contribution of the outer layer to the process of atherosclerosis. Is it involved in the initiation, progression, and clinical expression of atheroma? Is the inflammation associated with atheroma limited to being merely reactive or is there a proactive element? This paper provides an overview of the normal anatomy of vasa vasorum and potential mechanism of plaque formation due to vascular injury (vasa vasorum) and microhemorrhage.
PMCID: PMC3980984  PMID: 24790560

Results 1-25 (53)