Heart Vessels. 2020 Oct 13. doi: 10.1007/s00380-020-01712-y. Online ahead of print.
Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has low specificity for detecting significant functional coronary stenosis. We developed a new transluminal attenuation gradient (TAG)-derived dynamic CCTA with dose modulation, and we investigated its diagnostic performance for myocardial ischemia depicted by 13N-ammonia positron emission tomography (PET). Data from 48 consecutive patients who had undergone both dynamic CCTA and 13N-ammonia PET were retrospectively analyzed. Dynamic CCTA was continuously performed in mid-diastole for five cardiac cycles with prospective electrocardiography gating after a 10-s contrast medium injection. One scan of the dynamic CCTA was performed as a boost scan for conventional CCTA at the peak phase of the ascending aorta. Absolute TAG values at five phases around the boost scan were calculated. The dynamic TAG index (DTI) was defined as the ratio of the maximum absolute TAG to the standard deviation of five TAG values. We categorized the coronary territories as non-ischemia or ischemia based on the 13N-ammonia PET results. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the optimal cutoff of the DTI for identifying ischemia. The DTI was significantly higher for ischemia compared to non-ischemia (8.8 ± 3.9 vs. 4.6 ± 2.0, p < 0.01). The ROC analysis revealed 5.60 as the optimal DTI cutoff to detect ischemia, with an area under the curve of 0.87, 85.7% sensitivity, and 76.2% specificity. TAG provided no additional diagnostic value for the detection of ischemia. We propose the DTI derived from dynamic CCTA as a novel coronary flow index. The DTI is a valid technique for detecting functional coronary stenosis.