Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
BACKGROUND: Coronary artery calcium (CAC) predicts coronary heart disease events and is important for individualized cardiac risk assessment. This report assesses the interscan variability of CT for coronary calcium quantification using image acquisition with standard and reduced radiation dose protocols and whether the use of reduced radiation dose acquisition with iterative reconstruction (IR; "reduced-dose/IR ") allows for similar image quality and reproducibility when compared to standard radiation dose acquisition with filtered back projection (FBP; "standard-dose/FBP") on 320-detector row computed tomography (320-CT).
METHODS: 200 consecutive patients (60 ± 9 years, 59% male) prospectively underwent two standard- and two reduced-dose acquisitions (800 total scans, 1600 reconstructions) using 320 slice CT and 120 kV tube voltage. Automated tube current modulation was used and for reduced-dose scans, prescribed tube current was lowered by 70%. Image noise and Agatston scores were determined and compared.
RESULTS: Regarding stratification by Agatston score categories (0, 1-10, 11-100, 101-400, >400), reduced-dose/IR versus standard-dose/FBP had excellent agreement at 89% (95% CI: 86-92%) with kappa 0.86 (95% CI: 0.81-0.90). Standard-dose/FBP rescan agreement was 93% (95% CI: 89-96%) with kappa = 0.91 (95% CI: 0.86-0.95) while reduced-dose/IR rescan agreement was similar at 91% (95% CI: 87-94%) with kappa 0.88 (95% CI: 0.83-0.93). Image noise was significantly higher but clinically acceptable for reduced-dose/IR (18 Hounsfield Unit [HU] mean) compared to standard-dose/FBP (16 HU; p < 0.0001). Median radiation exposure was 74% lower for reduced- (0.37 mSv) versus standard-dose (1.4 mSv) acquisitions.
CONCLUSION: Rescan agreement was excellent for reduced-dose image acquisition with iterative reconstruction and standard-dose acquisition with filtered back projection for the quantification of coronary calcium by CT. These methods make it possible to reduce radiation exposure by 74%.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01621594.
UNIQUE IDENTIFIER: NCT01621594.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Choi, A. D., Leifer, E., Yu, J., Shanbhag, S., Bronson, K., Arai, A., & Chen, M. (2016). Prospective evaluation of the influence of iterative reconstruction on the reproducibility of coronary calcium quantification in reduced radiation dose 320 detector row CT.. Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, (). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcct.2016.07.016