Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of coronary CT angiography (CCTA) using segmented 3D data for the detection of significant stenoses with catheter angiography (CA) as the reference standard.
Method: CCTA data sets from 30 patients were acquired with a 64-slice dual source CT scanner and segmented by an independent observer using the region growing (RG) method and the “virtual contrast injection” (VC) method. For every examination, each of the three types of images was then reviewed by one of three reviewers in a blinded fashion for the presence of stenoses with diameter reduction of 50% or more. For the original series, the reviewer was allowed to use all the 2D or 3D visualization tools available (mixed method). For the segmented results (from RG and VC), the reviewer only used the 3D maximum intensity projection. Evaluation results were compared with CA for each artery.
Results: Overall, 34 arteries with significant stenosis were identified by CA. The percentage of evaluable arteries, accuracy and negative predictive value (NPV) for detecting stenosis were, respectively, 86%, 74% and 93% for the mixed method, 83%, 71% and 92% for VC, and 64%, 56% and 93% for RG. Accuracy was significantly lower for the RG method than for the other two methods (p<0.01), whereas there was no significant difference in accuracy between the VC method and the mixed method (p = 0.22). Excluding vessels with heavy calcification, all three methods had similar accuracy.
Conclusion: Diagnostic accuracy when using segmented 3D data was lower than with access to 2D images. However, the high NPV of the 3D methods suggests a potential of using them as an initial step, with access to 2D reviewing techniques for suspected lesions and cases with heavy calcification. The VC method, which generates more evaluable arteries and has higher accuracy, seems more promising for this purpose than the RG method.
Informa Healthcare, 2012. Vol. 53, no 8, 845-851 p.