• Coronary vessels;
  • computed tomography;
  • heart;
  • computed tomography (CT);
  • three-dimensional


Purpose:  To assess the diagnostic value and measurement precision of 3D volume rendering technique (3D-VRT) from retrospectively ECG-gated multislice spiral CT (MSCT) data sets for imaging of the coronary arteries.

Material and Methods:  In 35 patients, retrospectively ECG-gated MSCT of the heart using a four detector row MSCT scanner with a standardized examination protocol was performed as well as quantitative X-ray coronary angiography (QCA). The MSCT data was assessed on segmental basis using 3D-VRT exclusively. The coronary artery diameters were measured at the origin of each main coronary branch and 1 cm, 3 cm and 5 cm distally. The minimum, maximum and mean diameters were determined from MSCT angiography and compared to QCA.

Results:  A total of 353 of 525 (67.2%) coronary artery segments were assessable by MSCT angiography. The proximal segments were more often assessable when compared to the distal segments. Stenoses were detected with a sensitivity of 82.6% and a specificity of 92.8%. According to the Bland-Altman method the mean differences between QCA and MSCT ranged from −0.55 to 1.07 mm with limits of agreement from −2.2 mm to −2.7 mm.

Conclusion:  When compared to QCA, the ability of 3D-VRT to quantitatively assess coronary artery diameters and coronary artery stenoses is insufficient for clinical purposes.