[Basic principles of vascular imaging with spiral CT]

W.A. Kalender, K. Wedding, A. Polacin, M. Prokop, C. Schaefer-Prokop and M. Galanski

Aktuelle Radiologie 1994;4(6):287-297



Vascular investigations by CT have experienced a decisive advance and found a high acceptance since the introduction of fast volume scanning (spiral CT). We have investigated the underlying physical foundations and optimized the operational aspects of the method now introduced as CT angiography (CTA). Investigations are carried out with a table feed of 1-10 mm/s. Images are reconstructed at 1-2 mm separations by use of algorithms which optimize the layer profile. The parameters must be adapted to the region being investigated. The diagnosis is generally made with interactive cine runs; for this the original images, multiplanar reformations, 3D surface shaded displays (SSD), and maximum intensity projection (MIP) images are used. The 3D representations are discussed in the context of the principle and illustrative examples. Important applications for CTA are the evaluation of aortic aneurysms and dissections, pulmonary vessels, renal arteries, and vessel stents. CTA is characterized by short examination times, low invasiveness, and relatively low cost; in typical cases it is associated with an effective dose of 2-10 mSv. The advantages and disadvantages of the new method are discussed in terms of diagnostic value, image quality, patient dose, contrast medium techniques, and practical aspects in comparison to other angiographic methods.