Research: SPEC 256-Multislice CT captures heart in one beat
Two Japanese researchers from the Ehime University School of Medicine have generated the first clinical data available for the 2nd Spec 256-Multislice CT. And thanks to their research, they’ve determined 256-slice CT is able to non-invasively identify substantial coronary artery disease in 1.5 seconds (64-slice CT scanner takes approximately 10 seconds to complete a diagnostic scan of the heart), which is enough time for it to image the entire heart. This is accomplished without gating and table movement, while making use of the wider coverage of the CT scanner. The study was presented this week at the American College of Cardiology’s inaugural Innovation in Intervention: the i2 Summit 2006 — part of ACC 2006 annual meeting in Atlanta this week.
The research team in Japan tested the 256-slice scanner on two patients with a history of heart attack. They discovered that with the assistance of the 256-slice they were able to effectively evaluate the damage from the patients' past heart attacks. This was done by injecting the patients with contrast and reviewing 2D and 3D images of the heart and reviewing coronary and cardiac functions. Specifically, coronary artery structure was evaluated along with the function of the main pumping chamber, the left ventricle. Thus, they were able to measure the volume of blood moving during the heart's diastolic (filling) and systolic (emptying) cycles. Additionally, the ejection fraction (pumping capacity) was established for each patient.

"The 2nd Spec 256-Multislice CT seems to be a promising next- generation CT for coronary and cardiac imaging," said Akira Kurata, MD, PhD, Ehime University School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "We are pleased by the speed of the procedure which allows us to assess patients 'with just one beat of the heart.’”