Diagnostic Utility of Unenhanced Computed Tomography for Acute Aortic Syndrome.

Circulation journal : official journal of the Japanese Circulation Society

PubMedID: 24909890

Kurabayashi M, Okishige K, Ueshima D, Yoshimura K, Shimura T, Suzuki H, Mitsutoshi A, Aoyagi H, Otani Y, Isobe M. Diagnostic Utility of Unenhanced Computed Tomography for Acute Aortic Syndrome. Circ J. 2014;.
Background:The diagnostic value of unenhanced computed tomography (CT) for diagnosing acute aortic dissection (AAD) and ruptured thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) remains unclear.Methods and Results:We examined 219 consecutive patients who visited the emergency room with suspected acute aortic syndrome (AAS) because of chest or back pain and who underwent both unenhanced and contrast-enhanced 64-row multi-detector CT. The unenhanced CT findings were evaluated by the cardiologist on duty who was blind to the findings of contrast-enhanced CT. Diagnosis of AAS was confirmed in 103 patients (47%, 95 AAD and 8 ruptured TAA patients) based on evaluation of both unenhanced and contrast-enhanced CT images, which was used as the reference standard for validating the diagnostic value of the unenhanced CT findings. Sensitivity and specificity of the findings of a high-attenuation crescent, which represents hematoma in the aortic wall, were 61.2% and 99.1%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of linear high density in the aorta, which represents an intimal flap, were 59.2% and 96.6%, respectively. If unenhanced CT showed none of high-attenuation crescent, linear high density, internal displacement of intimal calcification, or TAA, the negative predictive value was 93.3%.Conclusions:Unenhanced CT is a good tool for ruling AAS in, but the false-negative rate of 6.7% is high for ruling AAS out because it has to be the minimum possible.