Validation of a Novel Method for Cardiac Output Estimation by CT Coronary Angiography


Background: Cardiac output can be estimated during retrospectively gated CT coronary angiography by anatomically determining left ventricular volumes; prospective triggering to minimize radiation precludes this methodology. We propose an alternative method for cardiac output estimation based on preclinical models suggesting that cardiac output may be inversely related to contrast washout from the aortic root during timing bolus scanning, as measured by peak aortic root contrast attenuation. Methods: 34 patients had CT coronary angiography timing bolus performed with 20 ml iodixanol at 5.5 ml/s followed by 20 ml normal saline at 5.5 ml/s through an 18-Ga antecubital catheter. Peak aortic root contrast attenuation was correlated to cardiac output calculated by echocardiography using heart rate stroke volume from biplane Simpson’s method.Results: Mean age was 58 ± 13 years; body surface area, 2.0 ± 0.5 m2. 53% were women. Stroke volume, cardiac output and cardiac index were 67 ± 19 ml, 4.5 ± 1.6 L/min, and 2.2 ± 0.7 L/min/m2, respectively. Peak aortic root contrast attenuation was 207 ± 46 HU and correlated to cardiac output and cardiac index with r = –0.64, p < 0.0001 and r = –0.55, p < 0.001, respectively. Regression analysis estimates cardiac output = –0.02 peak aortic root contrast attenuation +9.1. Conclusion: This novel method for cardiac output estimation by CTCA appears feasible. The CT physiologic parameters using the timing test-bolus data moderately correlated with echocardiographic assessment of cardiac output. The calculation of cardiac output adds important hemodynamic data to anatomic information provided by CTCA, and further development of this method may preserve assessment of left ventricular performance in prospective triggering.

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Mehta, H., Choi, B., Sanai, R., Dusaj, R., Mohsen, A., Liang, C., Lewis, J. and Zeman, R. (2012) Validation of a Novel Method for Cardiac Output Estimation by CT Coronary Angiography. Advances in Computed Tomography, 1, 11-16. doi: 10.4236/act.2012.12003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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