We proposed a new acquisition method of coronary MDCT achieved by pacing rate resetting and/or propranolol or verapamil injection in patients with a pacemaker. Coronary MDCT was undertaken in 57 patients with a pacemaker (DDD: 51, VVI: 6) and in 2975 patients with sinus rhythm as control using Aquilion 64 (Toshiba). Pacing rate was reset to 60 beats per minute (bpm) in DDD, and spontaneous beats were suppressed by propranolol injection. Pacing rate was reset to 70 bpm in atrial fibrillation with VVI, and spontaneous beats were suppressed by verapamil injection. Coronary MDCT was undertaken using as high a beam pitch (BP) as possible. When spontaneous beats were not suppressed, we selected the optimal gantry speed and BP to get the highest temporal resolution. Image quality makes no significant difference between pacemaker and sinus rhythm. When spontaneous beats were completely suppressed (all pacing), mean radiation dose and acquisition time, respectively, decreased by 33.0% and 35.2% in DDD compared with the method recommended by Heart Navi (by Toshiba), and they decreased by 38.1% and 25.9%, respectively, in VVI compared with the method recommended by Heart Navi. We could not estimate coronary stenosis in the proximal right coronary artery by lead artifacts in 30% of DDD pacemakers. In conclusion, the new method is useful for not only reducing radiation dose and acquisition time, but also for maintaining image quality in patients with a pacemaker.
Interpretations of medical images have been shifting to soft-copy readings with liquid-crystal display (LCD) monitors. The display function of the medical-grade LCD monitor for soft-copy readings is recommended to calibrate the grayscale standard display function (GSDF) in accordance with the guidelines of Japan and other countries. In this study, the luminance and display function of five models of eight general purpose LCD monitors were measured to gain an understanding of their characteristics. Moreover, the display function (gamma 2.2 or gamma 1.8) of general purpose LCD monitors was converted to GSDF through the use of a look-up table, and the detectability of a simulated lung nodule in the chest x-ray image was examined. As a result, the maximum luminance, contrast ratio, and luminance uniformity of general purpose LCD monitors, except for one model of two LCD monitors, met the management grade 1 standard in the guideline JESRA X-0093-2005. In addition, the detectability of simulated lung nodule in the mediastinal space was obviously improved by converting the display function of a general purpose LCD monitor into GSDF.
In infant CT scans, it is important to minimize radiation exposure without lowering the quality of the diagnosis. Therefore, appropriate parameters for infant CT scan should be considered at each institute. In order to determine parameters for infant body CT, we measured the physical characteristics of our current CT machine and evaluated scan parameters as S.D. below 10 on the basis of literature recommendations, which say that we should adopt S.D. of the liver when treated with a radiation exposure dose in an adult abdominal CT scan. As a result, the ideal parameters were 90 kV tube voltage, ultra fast detail resolution, B kernel, and Eff.mAs value calculated from patient body width. Infant body CT scans with the mentioned parameters resulted in an S.D. below 10, and this is thought to be applicable to further examinations.
Although post-injection transmission scan (POST-TS) after 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy- D-glucose (18F-FDG) injection[A1] is useful for short examination times, the emission count of 18F-FDG[A2] in the regional brain area was not completely subtracted with use of the POST-TS method. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of POST-TS and attenuation correction (AC) methods on the normal database (NDB). A 10 min pre-injection transmission scan (PRE-TS) was performed before 18F-FDG[A3] was injected in eighteen normal volunteers. A 10 min POST-TS was then conducted beginning 40 min after 18F-FDG[A4] injection, followed by a 10 min 2-dimentional emission scanning. To reconstruct each image of normal volunteers, the reconstruction was performed using the filtered back-projection (FBP) method and the ordered subsets expectation maximization (OSEM) method, with transmission-based measured attenuation correction (MAC) and the segmented attenuation correction (SAC) technique. Subtraction images of NDB with PRE-TS or POST-TS were evaluated using 3D-SSP. A phantom study was also performed in addition to a human study, and assessment was by region of interests and profile curves. NDB images with POST-TS were significantly lower in the bilateral frontal lobes and higher in the parietal lobes and occipital lobes, including the precuneus, than those with PRE-TS, regardless of the different AC and reconstruction algorithms. Therefore, we have to be careful to confirm not only emission scan methods and reconstruction algorithms, but also TS methods and AC methods in the NDB. It will be best to perform PET examinations using the same TS methods and AC methods between NDB and patients.
In the peripheral angiography to evaluate blood flow below the knee levels in patients with arteriosclerosis obliterans, a motion artifact occurs as a result of body movements of a patient in normal fixation. This sometimes makes a correct evaluation difficult. Therefore, we developed a fixed appliance which can restrain body movement without affecting image quality and blood flow in digital subtraction angiography of a leg. The appliance is filled with the styrofoam of 1 mm diameter in a sealed bag, after air is aspirated from inside the bag. The appliance is stiffened to fit the shape of the crus. We measured signal to noise ratio / contrast to noise ratio / a resolution limit by visual evaluation to examine the influence of the image before and after usage of this appliance. In addition, the blood velocity of the dorsalis artery in ultrasound was measured to examine the effect on the blood flow. As a result, the fixed appliance did not affect blood flow in peripheral angiography to evaluate the clinical significance, the usual 5-point evaluate scale was used. The scale was significantly improved (p <0.01) after usage of this appliance. The newly developed fixed appliance for digital subtraction angiography of a leg is useful to avoid motion artifacts in clinical settings.