Computed tomography angiography (CTA) of the pulmonary arteries has become the main diagnostic test for the evaluation of pulmonary embolism (PE). Not only due to the good availability, low cost and minimal invasiveness of this technique, but mainly because of the introduction of multi-detector CT techniques resulting in significant improvement in resolution, speed and image quality. This continuous gain in image acquisition speed went along with the introduction of new techniques of image acquisition, such as the dual-source CT scanning and novel concepts of image interpretation beyond morphological findings including the definition of the resulting perfusion defects and assessment of the cardiopulmonary circulation as a functional unit. This article will focus on technical and practical aspects to optimize CTPA examinations with modern multi-detector CT scanners, discusses aspects to be considered in specific patient groups (e.g., during pregnancy, young patients) and outlines new advents such as dual-source lung perfusion and automatic detection of pulmonary emboli.

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European Journal of Radiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hartmann, I., Wittenberg, R., & Schaefer-Prokop, C. (2010). Imaging of acute pulmonary embolism using multi-detector CT angiography: An update on imaging technique and interpretation. European Journal of Radiology, 74(1), 40–49. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2010.02.007