BACKGROUND: To investigate the feasibility, image quality, and clinical implications of a combined ECG-gated and helical acquisition mode in a computed tomography angiography (CTA) protocol in patients scheduled for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) using a fixed, low-volume, contrast medium injection.
METHODS: Between July and October 2019, 43 TAVI candidates underwent investigation with CTA using a 64-slice CT scanner. Images obtained were prospectively evaluated. 65 mL of low iodine dose contrast medium (CM), followed by 25 mL of saline, were administered using a fixed multiphasic injection protocol in all patients. Patients were divided into three groups based on BMI: Group 1 (n = 9) with BMI < 22 kg/m2; Group 2 (n = 22) with BMI 22-29 kg/m2; Group 3 (n = 12) with BMI > 29 kg/m2. Images were evaluated for image quality, vessel attenuation (HU), Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), Contrast-to-Noise Ratio (CNR) and estimated radiation dose. Image quality of the aortic root and iliac-femoral vessels was diagnostic in all patients.
RESULTS: Vascular attenuation was > 200 HU and CNR > 3 at all vessel levels.
CONCLUSION: Data from our study suggest that it is possible to image the aortic annulus and aorto-iliac anatomy and obtain high image quality in all patients by using a combined ECG-gated and helical acquisition mode in a computed tomography angiography (CTA) protocol with a fixed low-volume contrast medium injection (65 mL). This allows for accurate CT measurements of the aortic annulus, recruitment of patients for TAVI and facilitates pre-procedural planning in these high surgical risk patients.