Cone beam computed tomography scanners in combination with heart rate adaptive reconstruction schemes have the potential to enable cardiac volumetric computed tomography (CT) imaging for a larger number of patients and applications. In this publication, an adaptive scheme for the automatic and patient-specific reconstruction optimization is introduced to improve the temporal resolution and image quality. The optimization method permits the automatic determination of the required amount of gated helical cone beam projection data for the reconstruction volume. It furthermore allows one to optimize subvolume reconstruction yielding an increased temporal resolution. In addition, methods for the assessment of the temporal resolution are given which enable a quantitative documentation of the reconstruction improvements. Results are presented for patient data sets acquired in low pitch helical mode using a 16-slice cone beam CT system with parallel ECG recording.