New Applications of Cardiac Computed Tomography: Dual-Energy, Spectral, and Molecular CT Imaging

Computed tomography (CT) has evolved into a powerful diagnostic tool, and it is impossible to imagine current clinical practice without CT imaging. Because of its widespread availability, ease of clinical application, superb sensitivity for the detection of coronary artery disease, and noninvasive nature, CT has become a valuable tool within the armamentarium of cardiologists. In the past few years, numerous technological advances in CT have occurred, including dual-energy CT, spectral CT, and CT-based molecular imaging. By harnessing the advances in technology, cardiac CT has advanced beyond the mere evaluation of coronary stenosis to an imaging tool that permits accurate plaque characterization, assessment of myocardial perfusion, and even probing of molecular processes that are involved in coronary atherosclerosis. Novel innovations in CT contrast agents and pre-clinical spectral CT devices have paved the way for CT-based molecular imaging. 

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