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Quality of multi-detector CT images is affected by patient's physiology

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According to a recent study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, the quality of MDCT_2images taken by multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scans can be affected significantly by patient's criteria such as ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and heart rate. (MDCT) is applied for noninvasive screening of coronary artery disease.

The study involved 291 patients having coronary artery calcification and showed that in comparison with screenings of white patients, black patients showed significantly lower quality images. Melvin E. Clouse, MD, lead author of the study, said "Physiologic factors such as high heart rate, arrhythmia, obesity, and high coronary calcium burden with motion continue to limit the diagnostic accuracy of MDCT as compared with conventional invasive coronary angiography. Our study is significant because we found a relevant influence of BMI, heart rate, ethnicity, and breathing artifact on the degradation of image quality,"

MDCT scans are applied in a large number of patients suspected of coronary artery disease since MDCT has high diagnostic accuracy and dependability. Yet, "the diagnostic ability of any imaging method is directly dependent on image quality," added Clouse. He commented on the study saying "With this new knowledge combined with new and advanced CT scanners, we have the potential to improve image quality of coronary CT angiography, further making the test even more accurate and independent of patient characteristics,"


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