Two fast computed tomographic scanners, designed primarily for imaging cardiac structures and function, have been in use since the early 1980s. The technical aspects of both systems have been described previously in detail, and a considerable body of scientific literature now documents the biomedical capabilities of these scanners. This review examines these biomedical capabilities as applied to quantitative analysis of the heart and pulmonary circulations. On the basis of this overview, some speculations about the current strengths and possible further developments of the fast computed tomographic approach in these applications are made.
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