Rationale and Objectives
To explore the value of an artificial intelligence (AI)-based application for identifying plaque-specific stenosis and obstructive coronary artery disease from monoenergetic spectral reconstructions on coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA).
Materials and Methods
This retrospective study enrolled 71 consecutive patients (52 men, 19 women; 63.3 ± 10.7 years) who underwent coronary CTA and invasive coronary angiography for diagnosing coronary artery disease. The conventional 120 kVp images and eight different virtual monoenergetic images (VMIs) (from 40 keV to 140 keV at increment of 10 keV) were reconstructed. An AI system automatically detected plaques from the conventional 120 kVp images and VMIs and calculated the degree of stenosis, which was further compared to invasive coronary angiography. The assessment was performed at a segment, vessel, and patient level.
Vessel and segment-based analyses showed comparable diagnostic performance between conventional CTA images and VMIs from 50 keV to 90 keV. For vessel-based analysis, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and diagnostic accuracy of conventional CTA were 74.3% (95% CI: 64.9%-82.0%), 85.6% (95% CI: 77.0%-91.4%), 84.3% (95% CI: 75.2%-90.7%), 76.1% (95% CI: 67.1%-83.3%) and 79.8% (95% CI: 73.7%-84.9%), respectively; the average sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and diagnostic accuracy values of the VMIs ranging from 50 keV to 90 keV were 71.6%, 90.7%, 87.5%, 64.1% and 81.6%, respectively. For plaque-based assessment, diagnostic performance of the average VMIs ranging from 50 keV to 100 keV showed no significant statistical difference in diagnostic accuracy compared to those of conventional CTA images in detecting calcified (91.4% vs. 93.8%, p > 0.05), noncalcified (92.6% vs. 85.2%, p > 0.05) or mixed (80.2% vs. 81.2%, p > 0.05) stenosis, although the specificity was slightly higher (53.4% vs. 40.0%, p > 0.05) in detecting stenosis caused by mixed plaques. For VMIs above 100 keV, the diagnostic accuracy dropped significantly.
Our study showed that the performance of an AI-based application employed to detect significant coronary stenosis in virtual monoenergetic reconstructions ranging from 50 keV to 90 keV was comparable to conventional 120 kVp reconstructions.
Abbreviations:CTA (Computed tomography angiography), CAD (Coronary artery disease), AI (Artificial intelligence), VMI (Virtual monoenergetic images), ICA (Invasive coronary angiography), SDCT (Spectral detector CT), 3D (3-Dimensional), MPR (Multiple planner reformat), CPR (Curve plannar reformat), CACS (Coronary artery calcium score), DE-CCTA (Dual-energy coronary CT angiography)
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Published online: December 08, 2021
Accepted: October 28, 2021
Received in revised form: October 19, 2021
Received: August 3, 2021
© 2021 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.