Editor's Note: Is More Better?

When it comes to multidetector CT, yes.

CT is proving itself. The recently released CorE 64 Study results showed 64-slice CT matches cardiac catheterization in the primary diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and disorders. Other study results showcased at RSNA 2007 fortified 64-slice CT’s capabilities in detecting three-vessel disease, one of the potential candidates for coronary artery bypass surgery. It also has the potential to evaluate patency of drug-eluting stents (DES) with a low incidence of restenosis. Other studies prove its strength in imaging coronary arteries, left ventricular function, coronary valves, perfusion and viability. It’s also good at ruling out coronary stenosis in patients with atypical chest pain and visualizing anomalous coronary arteries.

And while current systems are good, the next-generation promises to great things. The new systems debuting and being previewed at RSNA by the major CT vendors were the buzz of the show. They’ll offer more and re-tooled detectors that promise whole-organ imaging in a single rotation (wider detectors, wider coverage), higher temporal and spatial resolution, fewer artifacts (no more sub-volumes to stitch together) and faster scan times. New scanners seek to overcome current limitations of high radiation exposure (5 to 20 mSv), need for IV contrast, patient’s ability to participate with breath-holds, and trouble imaging patients with irregular heart rate.

As you’ll see in our cover story, early adopters also have high hopes for new multidetector CT applications in stroke imaging—with systems able to image the brain parenchyma in a single gantry rotation; total exam time of 15 minutes is key when time is brain. Tumor perfusion imaging to monitor chemotherapy response is another goal, as is super-fast, whole-body trauma scanning and pulmonary embolism detection. Dynamic, functional imaging would make possible image-guided minimally invasive therapies such as radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation and targeted chemotherapy.

It’s a brave new world for CT imaging—with a very bright future.