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Newer techniques are making cardiac CT safer for children
Date:7/17/2011

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) has excellent image quality and diagnostic confidence for the entire spectrum of pediatric patients, with significant reduction of risk with recent technological advancements, according to a study to be presented at the Sixth Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) in Denver, July 14-17.

"Traditionally, pediatric patients who require coronary artery imaging have undergone a cardiac catheterization, which is an invasive procedure with a significant radiation dose, requiring sedation or anesthesia for all patients," explained B. Kelly Han, MD, a pediatric cardiologist at Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the Children's Heart Clinic and Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis. "The newer CT scanners deliver far less radiation than both previous generation CT scanners and catheter based angiography. Also, CTA is non-invasive and has different protocols that can be tailored to decrease the risk for each individual patient."

"One barrier to applying coronary CTA in children has been their relatively high heart rates. Using a combination of medication to slow the heart rate and the new scanner technology, we have been able to obtain excellent images of the coronary arteries in patients as young as five months of age" she said.

Han and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of all coronary CTAs performed on patients less than 18 years of age at Minneapolis Heart Institute from June 2007 through February 2011. The researchers examined the heart rate control with beta blockade, and the radiation dose with the varied scan modes, with the goal of comparing the image quality and the radiation dose.

Patients were separated by scan mode into three groups:

  • Group One: First-generation, dual-source CT scanner with retrospective ECG gating (spiral scan mode);
  • Group Two: Second-generation, dua
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Contact: Meghan Bethke
mbethke@mhif.org
612-863-5410
Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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