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Notohamiprodjo, Susan; Webber, Nicole; Birnbacher, Lorenz; Willner, Marian; Viermetz, Manuel; Herzen, Julia; Marschner, Mathias; Mayr, Doris; Bartsch, Harald; Saam, Tobias; Auweter, Sigrid; Pfeiffer, Franz; Reiser, Maximilian F.; Hetterich, Holger (2018): Qualitative and Quantitative Evaluation of Structural Myocardial Alterations by Grating-Based Phase-Contrast Computed Tomography. In: Investigative Radiology, Vol. 53, No. 1: pp. 26-34
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Abstract

Objectives: Grating-based phase-contrast computed tomography (gb-PCCT) relies on x-ray refraction instead of absorption to generate high-contrast images in biological soft tissue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of gb-PCCT for the depiction of structural changes in heart disease.& para;& para;Materials and Methods: Four human heart specimens from patients with hypertensive disease, ischemic disease, dilated heart disease, and cardiac lipomatosis were examined. The gb-PCCT setup consisted of an x-ray tube (40 kV, 70 mA), grating-interferometer, and detector, and allowed simultaneous aquisition of phase- and absorption-contrast data. With histopathology as the standard of reference, myocardium (MC), fibrotic scar (FS), interstitial fibrosis (IF), and fatty tissue (FT) were visually and quantitatively evaluated. Systematic differences in absorption- and phase-contrast Hounsfield units (HUabs and HUp) were assessed. & para;& para;Results: Thirteen corresponding cross-sections were included, and MC, FS, IF, and FT were found in 13 (100%), 4 (30.8%), 7 (53.8%), and 13 (100%) cross-sections, respectively. Mean HUp/HUabs, were 52.5/54.1, 86.6/69.7, 62.4/62.3, and -38.6/-258.9 for MC, FS, IF, and FT, respectively. An overlap in HU(abs )was observed for MC and IF (P = 0.84) but not for HUp (P < 0.01). Contrast-to-noise ratios were significantly higher in phase- than in absorption-contrast or MC/FT (35.4 vs 7.8;P < 0.01) and for MC/FS (12.3 vs 0.2;P < 0.01).& para;& para;Conclusions: Given its superior soft tissue contrast, gb-PCCT is able to depict structural changes in different cardiomyopathies, which can currently not be obtained by x-ray absorption-based imaging methods. If current technical limitations can be overcome, gb-PCCT may evolve as a powerful tool for the anatomical assessment of cardiomyopathy.