Impact of tube current in the quantitative assessment of acute reperfused myocardial infarction with 64-slice delayed-enhancement CT: A porcine model [Impatto della corrente del tubo sulla valutazione quantitativa dell'infarto miocardico acuto riperfuso mediante TC 64 strati e tecnica di delayed enhancement: esperienza in modello animale porcino]
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Purpose: This study evaluated the impact of tube current (mAs) in delayed-enhancement computed tomography (CT) imaging for assessing acute reperfused myocardial infarction in a porcine model. Materials and methods: In five domestic pigs (mean weight 24 kg), the circumflex coronary artery was balloon-occluded for 2 h and then reperfused. After 5 days, CT imaging was performed following administration of iodinated contrast material. A 64-slice CT system was used to perform first-pass coronary angiography with a tube current of 15 mAs/kg [Arterial Phase (ART)] followed by two delayed-enhancement (DE) scans 15 min after contrast material administration, with a tube current of 15 mAs/kg and 37.5 mAs/kg, respectively (DE1 and DE2). The mean heart rate decreased to 51±9 beats/min after administration of zatebradine (10 mg/kg IV). The data set was reconstructed during the end-diastolic phase of the cardiac cycle. Areas with DE, no reflow and remote myocardium [remote left ventricular (LV)] were calculated. CT values expressed in Hounsfield units (HU) were measured using five regions of interest (ROI): DE, no reflow, remote LV, LV cavity (LV lumen) and in air, respectively. Differences, correlations, image quality [signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)] and contrast resolution [contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR)] were calculated. Results: Significant differences were found between attenuation of areas of DE, no reflow and remote LV (p<0.001) within the different scans. There was a fair correlation between DE and no-reflow attenuation (r=0.6; p<0.001). In DE 1 vs. DE2, areas of DE and no reflow were not significantly different (p>0.05). The SNR and CNR were not significantly different in DE1 vs. DE2 (p>0.05). Conclusions: Tube current does not significantly affect infarction area, image quality or contrast resolution of DE imaging with CT.