Advances in cardiac CT contrast injection and acquisition protocols
Cardiac computed tomography (CT) imaging has become an important part of modern cardiovascular care. Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is the first choice imaging modality for noninvasive visualization of coronary artery stenosis. In addition, cardiac CT does not only provide anatomical evaluation, but also functional and valvular assessment, and myocardial perfusion evaluation. In this article we outline the factors which influence contrast enhancement, give an overview of current contrast injection and acquisition protocols, with focus on current emerging topics such as pre-transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) planning, cardiac CT for congenital heart disease (CHD) patients, and myocardial CT perfusion (CTP). Further, we point out areas where we see potential for future improvements in cardiac CT imaging based on a closer interaction between CT scanner settings and contrast injection protocols to tailor injections to patient- and exam-specific factors.