Background: Stents are commonly used to treat aortic coarctation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the post-implantation computed tomography (CT) image quality of different stent types used to treat aortic coarctation. Methods: Adult and paediatric patients with stent-treated aortic coarctation who underwent contrast-enhanced CT were retrospectively included from three tertiary care centres. CT scans were subjectively scored for image quality using a 4-point scale (1 = unacceptable; 2 = poor; 3 = good; 4 = excellent). Furthermore, the amount of stent-induced blooming artefacts was measured as the percentage of the difference between outer and inner stent diameters over the outer stent diameter. Results: A total of 35 children and 34 adults implanted with 71 stents of six different types were included. The most commonly used stent type was the Cheatham Platinum stent (52 stents, 73%). The subjective image quality of the Cheatham Platinum stents was moderate with a score of 2.0±0.8 (mean ± standard deviation) in children and 2.3±0.6 in adults. The image quality in patients with Formula stents was 2.3±1.2. The Cheatham Platinum stents induced 34–48% blooming, the Formula stents 44–55%. The image quality in patients with the less commonly used Atrium Advanta V12, IntraStent, AndraStent and Palmaz stents was scored 3 (good) to 4 (excellent) with less blooming. The electrocardiographic gating and tube voltage (kVp) did not affect image quality. Conclusions: There is a substantial variation in CT image quality and blooming artefacts for different stent types used to treat aortic coarctation.

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European Radiology Experimental
Department of Radiology

Boccalini, S., den Harder, A., Witsenburg, M., Breur, J.P.J.M. (Johannes P. J. M.), Krestin, G., van Beynum, I., … Budde, R. (2018). Computed tomography image quality of aortic stents in patients with aortic coarctation: a multicentre evaluation. European Radiology Experimental, 2(1). doi:10.1186/s41747-018-0046-5