Multidetector CT outdoes echo in assessing aortic valve area
Multidetector CT most accurately assessed the aortic valve area (AVA) compared to cine MR imaging and transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, according to study results published in the September issue of Radiology.

The purpose of the study was to compare the accuracy of multidetector CT measurements of the AVA with transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and MR measurements of this area for preoperative examination of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, with transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) as the reference standard.

The study consisted of 48 patients – 27 with aortic stenosis and 21 without – all of whom underwent multidetector CT, cine MR, TTE and TEE before undergoing cardiac surgery. The diagnostic accuracy of multidetector CT for detection of aortic stenosis was compared with that of TTE by using statistics and receiver operating characteristic curves.

Multidetector CT-derived AVA correlated highly with MR-derived, TEE-derived, and TTE-derived AVA. Multidetector CT planimetry AVAs were significantly larger than TTE-derived AVAs. With TTE as the reference standard, multidetector CT correctly depicted all 21 normal, six of eight mildly stenotic, seven of eight moderately stenotic, and 10 of 11 severely stenotic valves. It also correctly depicted all 14 bicuspid valves identified with TEE, eight of which were missed with TTE.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc and Université Catholique de Louvain; both located in Woluwe-St. Lambert, Belgium.