Coronary calcium scoring potential of large field-of-view spectral photon-counting CT: a phantom study

Niels R. van der Werf*, S. Si-Mohamed, P. A. Rodesch, R. W. van Hamersvelt, M. J.W. Greuter, S. Boccalini, J. Greffier, T. Leiner, L. Boussel, M. J. Willemink, P. Douek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objective: The aim of the current study was, first, to assess the coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring potential of spectral photon-counting CT (SPCCT) in comparison with computed tomography (CT) for routine clinical protocols. Second, improved CAC detection and quantification at reduced slice thickness were assessed. Methods: Raw data was acquired and reconstructed with several combinations of reduced slice thickness and increasing strengths of iterative reconstruction (IR) for both CT systems with routine clinical CAC protocols for CT. Two CAC-containing cylindrical inserts, consisting of CAC of different densities and sizes, were placed in an anthropomorphic phantom. A specific CAC was detectable when 3 or more connected voxels exceeded the CAC scoring threshold of 130 Hounsfield units (HU). For all reconstructions, total CAC detectability was compared between both CT systems. Significant differences in CAC quantification (Agatston and volume scores) were assessed with Mann-Whitney U tests. Furthermore, volume scores were compared with the known CAC physical. Results: CAC scores for routine clinical protocols were comparable between SPCCT and CT. SPCCT showed 34% and 4% higher detectability of CAC for the small and large phantom, respectively. At reduced slice thickness, CAC detection increased by 142% and 169% for CT and SPCCT, respectively. In comparison with CT, volume scores from SPCCT were more comparable with the physical volume of the CAC. Conclusion: CAC scores using routine clinical protocols are comparable between conventional CT and SPCCT. The increased spatial resolution of SPCCT allows for increased detectability and more accurate CAC volume estimation. Key Points: • Coronary artery calcium scores using routine clinical protocols are comparable between conventional CT and spectral photon-counting CT. • In comparison with conventional CT, increased coronary artery calcium detectability was shown for spectral photon-counting CT due to increased spatial resolution. • Volumes scores were more accurately determined with spectral photon-counting CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Radiology
Volume32
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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