Can coronary CT imaging be performed at any heart rate?
To minimize motion and acquire images of diagnostic quality, a slow rate and regular cardiac rhythm are highly desirable. A rate of 60 beats/minute or less is ideal because it allows for effective use of prospective gating, minimizing radiation dose. Administration of oral beta-blockers is a safe method of achieving this heart rate in most patients. Contraindications include severe asthma or congestive obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure, and heart block. In the setting of acute chest pain, cocaine use is also a contraindication. As technology continues to advance, CT scanners with improved temporal resolution and motion reduction postprocessing have increased the upper heart rate limit for a quality study.