Computed tomography

Our research

Computed tomography (CT) is an increasingly used modality for investigations of the heart. The modality exhibits high availability in hospitals combined with fast examinations with high spatial resolution – which accordingly points in a direction of increased clinical and research use.

Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) has gained notable increased prominence in the European guidelines of patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). As the first university hospital in Sweden CCTA were introduced to clinical routine at CMIV in 2003. Since then, several projects within CMIV have during the years focused on CCTA-imaging, both in terms of quantification of stenosis significance and patient prognosis.

Advancement in CT technology with enhanced temporal resolution, that allows imaging objects in motion, coupled with reduction in radiation dose, enables the acquisition of 3D images over the complete cardiac cycle. This so called 4D information can be used for functional assessment of the heart, as for example blood flow in the whole heart, which can be obtained by using advanced post-processing, machine learning and simulations, which are more detailed in the website section regarding Modeling and Simulation.

Furthermore, one of the world’s first photon-counting CT (PCD-CT) scanners was installed at CMIV in 2020. This system offers new opportunities in cardiac imaging, both in terms of coronary arteries and assessment of cardiac function. When photon-counting CT is used, each individual X-ray photon is counted and used to produce the image. In accordance, the scanner has several benefits such as superior resolution, lower radiation dose and increased contrast by production of virtual monoenergetic images while maintain temporal resolution. PCD-CT is a technological paradigm shift in CT and is currently limited to few centers in the world and conveys excellent possibilities for further cardiac CT developments.