Prospective electrocardiogram (ECG) gating can significantly reduce the patient radiation dose delivered during computed tomography (CT) angiography, suggests a new study.
Computed tomography (CT) angiography is a common noninvasive technique used to evaluate vascular disease.
Published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), the study compared the use of retrospective ECG gating with the radiation beam being constantly on and prospective ECG gating with the radiation beam turned on only intermittently during CT angiography.
Forty patients were evaluated using retrospective gating and 40 more were evaluated using prospective gating during the study performed at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
"In comparison, image quality was equivalent. In regards to radiation dose, the dose was three times higher with retrospective gating," said Dr. W. Dennis Foley, lead author of the study.
The radiation dose using prospective gating was approximately 14 mSv compared to 43.3 mSv using retrospective gating.
"Radiation exposure continues to be a concern during CT procedures. However our study is significant because it shows radiologists are able to significantly decrease the radiation dose delivered to the patient during CT angiography," said Dr. Foley.
"Prospective ECG-gated CT angiography is a technically robust, noninvasive imaging technique for the evaluation of vascular disease. It is safer than conventional angiography and the patient benefits from having it done intravenously rather than through the arteries," he added.