Effect of an oral anxiolytic medication and heart rate variability on image quality of 64-slice MDCT coronary angiography
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between image quality in 64-slice multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and patients' preimaging anxiety status and heart rate variability (HRV), and to evaluate the efficacy of an orally administered anxiolytic medication on HRV and image quality. Sixty patients [14 women, 46 men; mean age 52.53 +/- 10.55 (SD), range 33-78 years] were studied. Anxiety levels were assessed with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 60 min before the procedure. The participating patients were randomly assigned to one of the two study groups: a control group (no medication administered for anxiety reduction) and an anxiolytic medication group, with 30 patients in each group. The presence of motion artefacts and image quality for each coronary artery segment were evaluated using a four-point grading system. To estimate HRV, the duration of each heartbeat during MDCT data acquisition was measured in each patient. A moderate correlation was found between HRV during MDCT scanning and the mean image quality for all coronary segments (r=0.47, p < 0.01). There was an association between HRV and state anxiety scores in all cases (r=0.370, p < 0.01). HRV in the patients who received alprazolam was statistically significantly lower than in controls (p < 0.05). The average image quality in patients who used alprazolam was also statistically significantly higher than in controls (p < 0.05). The most important finding in our study is that oral premedication to reduce anxiety is also effective in decreasing HRV and improves image quality. Therefore, we suggest that using alprazolam in addition to a beta-blocker may improve image quality in patients undergoing MDCT coronary angiography (MDCT-CA). Anxiolytic usage may improve image quality by lowering the HRV in selected cases where administration of a beta-blocker is contraindicated. We also suggest that further studies in larger series are required to validate this finding.