A new computed tomography scanner improves image quality while significantly reducing radiation in patients undergoing coronary CT angiography, according to a study published online in Radiology.
Using the new second-generation 320-detector row CT scanner, researchers from the National Institutes of Health performed contrast-enhanced CCTA on 107 adult patients with an average age of 55 who varied in height and weight. Researchers then compared the radiation dose and image quality of the new heart scans to 100 scans taken with a first-generation CT scanner at the NIH in 2010.
An analysis of the data found that with the second-generation CT scanner, radiation exposure was reduced by as much as 95 percent compared to the first-generation machine. In addition, the resulting images were not as blurry or grainy and showed greater visibility of fine details.
Developed by engineers from Toshiba Medical Systems, the second-generation CT system includes a gantry rotation time of 275 milliseconds, wide volume coverage, iterative reconstruction, automated exposure control and a larger x-ray power generator.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the new CT system, but researchers recommend conducting more studies before using the scanner in clinical settings.