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Comparison of Iodinated Contrast Media for the Assessment of Atherosclerotic Plaque Attenuation Values by CT Coronary Angiography: Observations in an Ex-Vivo Model

  • Authors: LA GRUTTA, L.; Galia, M.; Gentile, G.; LO RE, G.; Grassedonio, E.; Coppolino, F.; Maffei, E.; Maresi, E.; LO CASTO, A.; Cademartiri, F.; Midiri, M.
  • Publication year: 2013
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Objective: To compare the influence of different iodinated contrast media with several dilutions on plaque attenuation in an ex vivo coronary model studied by multislice CT coronary angiography. Methods: In six ex vivo left anterior descending coronary arteries immersed in oil, CT (slices/collimation 64x0.625 mm, temporal resolution 210 ms, pitch 0.2) was performed after intracoronary injection of a saline solution, and solutions of a dimeric isosmolar contrast medium (Iodixanol 320 mgl ml(-1)) and a monomeric high-iodinated contrast medium (Iomeprol 400 mgl ml(-1)) with dilutions of 1/80 (low concentration), 1/50 (medium concentration), 1/40 (high concentration) and 1/20 (very high concentration). Two radiologists drew regions of interest in the lumen and in calcified and non-calcified plaques for each solution. 29 cross-sections with non-calcified plaques and 32 cross-sections with calcified plaques were evaluated. Results: Both contrast media showed different attenuation values within lumen and plaque (p<0.0001). The correlation between lumen and non-calcified plaque values was good (Iodixanol r=0.793, Iomeprol r=0.647). Clustered medium-and high-concentration solutions showed similar plaque attenuation values, signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) (non-calcified plaque: medium solution SNR 31.3 +/- 15 vs 31.4 +/- 20, high solution SNR 39.4 +/- 17 vs 37.4 +/- 22; calcified plaque: medium solution SNR 305.2 +/- 133 vs 298.8 +/- 132, high solution SNR 323.9 +/- 138 vs 293 +/- 123) and derived contrast-to-noise ratios (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Differently iodinated contrast media have a similar influence on plaque attenuation profiles. Advances in knowledge: Since iodine load affects coronary plaque attenuation linearly, different contrast media may be equally employed for coronary atherosclerotic plaque imaging.