The aortic time-enhancement curve obtained from dynamic CT myocardial perfusion imaging can be used to derive the cardiac output (CO) index based on the indicator dilution principle. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of cardiac phase at which CT myocardial perfusion imaging is triggered on the CO index measurement with this approach. Methods:
Electrocardiogram (ECG) gated myocardial perfusion imaging was performed on farm pigs with consecutive cardiac axial scans using a large-coverage CT scanner (Revolution, GE Healthcare) after intravenous contrast administration. Multiple sets of dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) cardiac images were reconstructed retrospectively from 30% to 80% R-R intervals with a 5% phase increment. The time-enhancement curve sampled from above the aortic orifice in each DCE image set was fitted with a modified gamma variate function (MGVF). The fitted curve was then normalized to the baseline data point unaffected by the streak artifact emanating from the contrast solution in the right heart chamber. The Stewart–Hamilton equation was used to calculate the CO index based on the integral of the fitted normalized aortic curve, and the results were compared among different cardiac phases. Results:
The aortic time-enhancement curves sampled at different cardiac phases were different from each other, especially in the baseline portion of the curve where the effect of streak artifact was prominent. After properly normalizing and denoising with a MGVF, the integrals of the aortic curve were minimally different among cardiac phases (0.228 ± 0.001 Hounsfield Unit × second). The corresponding mean CO index was 4.031 ± 0.028 L/min. There were no statistical differences in either the integral of the aortic curve or CO index among different cardiac phases (p
> 0.05 for all phases).
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