Image quality assessment of coronary artery segments using ultra-high resolution dual source photon-counting detector computed tomography

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Abstract

Purpose: The study is intended to assess the image quality of ultra-high resolution (UHR) coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) performed on dual source photon-counting detector CT (PCD-CT). Method: Consecutive patients, who underwent clinically indicated CCTA on PCD-CT (UHR 120x 0.2 mm collimation), were included. CCTA images were reconstructed at 0.2 mm slice thickness with Bv40, Bv44, Bv48 and Bv56 kernels and quantum iterative reconstruction level 4. Contrast-to-noise (CNR) and signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) were quantified from contrast-enhanced blood and subcutaneous adipose tissue. All reconstructions were scored per coronary segment (18-segment model) for presence, image quality, motion artefacts, stack artefacts, plaque presence and composition, and stenosis degree. Image quality was scored by two independent observers. Results: Sixty patients were included (median age 62 [25th 75th percentile: 53–67] years, 45% male, median calcium score 62 [0–217]). The mean heart rate during scanning was 71 ± 11 bpm. Median CTDIvol was 19 [16–22]mGy and median DLP 243 [198–327]mGy.cm. The SNR was 9.3 ± 2.3 and the CNR was 11.7 ± 2.6. Of the potential 1080 coronary segments (60 patients x 18 segments), 255/256 (reader1/reader2) segments could not be assessed for being absent or non-evaluable due to size. Both readers scored 85% of the segments as excellent or very good (Intraclass Correlation Coefficient: 0.88 (95% CI: 0.87–0.90). Motion artefacts were present in 45(5%) segments, stack artefacts in 60(7%) segments and metal artefacts in 9(1%) segments. Conclusion: UHR dual-source PCD-CT CCTA provides excellent or very good image quality in 85% of coronary segments at relatively high heart rates at moderate radiation dose with only limited stack artefacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111282
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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