Purpose: Electron beam CT (EBCT) has been devised to improve the imaging of the heart and the great vessels. Therefore, this method is expected to facilitate the imaging workup of patients referred for cardiothoracic surgery. We set out to review the most important surgical issues that can be addressed with this method. Methods: From June, 1997 until July, 1998, more than 300 patients were referred from cardiothoracic surgery. In a retrospective analysis, diagnostic results were reviewed and compared with surgical findings and the clinical course. Results: Aortocoronary bypass graft occlusions were detected with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 95%. Calcifications of the aorta, pericardium and intracardiac tumors were surgically confirmed in all instances. There was a significant association of the degree of coronary artery calcification and the progression of cardiac allograft vasculopathy in 50 heart transplant recipients. In EBCT of the aorta, a high degree of diagnostic confidence was found for aortic dissection, aortic wall hematoma or aortic perforation. Conclusions: We conclude that EBCT represents an important diagnostic tool both for surgical planning and postoperative surveillance in cardiothoracic surgery.
- Aortic dissection
- Aortic sclerosis Cardiactumors
- Aortocoronary bypass grafts
- Electron beam computed tomography. Cardiac surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging