Introduction: To investigate chest respiratory artefact reduction using High Pitch Dual Source Computed Tomography (HPCT) compared to conventional CT (CCT) in symptomatic patients with shortness of breath. Methods: Forty patients were prospectively examined on a second-generation Dual Source scanner. They were randomly divided into two groups: twenty patients underwent an experimental HPCT protocol and twenty control cases CCT protocol. Respiratory artefacts were evaluated using an ordinal score (0, 1 and 2) assigned by two readers with five and thirty years of experience. A qualitative assessment was performed using two categorical groups, group 1 = acceptable and group 2 = unacceptable. Dose Length Product (DLP) was compared. Results: The two groups showed a statistical difference in artefacts reduction (p < 0.0001). HPCT demonstrated no artefacts in 82% of cases, while CCT showed no artefacts in 39% of cases. DLP showed no statistical differences (p = 0.6) with mean = 266.9 for HPCT and mean = 282.65 for CCT. HPCT provides high table speed in the z-direction allowing a high temporal resolution, which reduces respiratory artefacts during free-breathing acquisition. Despite the use of two x-ray tubes, the HPCT did not increase the dose to the patient but provided the highest images quality. Conclusions: In the emergency setting, HPCTs have been critical for achieving good image quality in uncooperative patients. Implications for practice: Acute respiratory failure is a common emergency department presentation, and the choice of high-speed acquisition CT may increase image quality.
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