Improvement of Spatial Resolution on Coronary CT Angiography by Using Super-Resolution Deep Learning Reconstruction

Published:January 19, 2023DOI:

      Rationale and Objectives

      Our objective was to compare the image quality of coronary CT angiography reconstructed with super-resolution deep learning reconstruction (SR-DLR) and with hybrid iterative reconstruction (IR) images.

      Materials and Methods

      This retrospective study included 100 patients who underwent coronary CT angiography using a 320-detector-row CT scanner. The CT images were reconstructed with hybrid IR and SR-DLR. The standard deviation of the CT number was recorded and the CT attenuation profile across the left main coronary artery was generated to calculate the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and measure the edge rise slope (ERS). Overall image quality was evaluated and plaque detectability was assessed on a 4-point scale (1 = poor, 4 = excellent). For reference, invasive coronary angiography of 14 patients was used.


      The mean image noise on SR-DLR was significantly lower than on hybrid IR images (15.6 vs 22.9 HU; p < 0.01). The mean CNR was significantly higher and the ERS was steeper on SR-DLR- compared to hybrid IR images (CNR: 32.4 vs 20.4, p < 0.01; ERS: 300.0 vs 198.2 HU/mm, p < 0.01). The image quality score was better on SR-DLR- than on hybrid IR images (3.6 vs 3.1; p < 0.01). SR-DLR increased the detectability of plaques with < 50% stenosis (p < 0.01).


      SR-DLR was superior to hybrid IR with respect to the image noise, the sharpness of coronary artery margins, and plaque detectability.

      Key Words


      CCTA (coronary computed tomography angiography), U-HRCT (ultra-high-resolution computed tomography), SR-DLR (super-resolution-deep learning reconstruction), DCNN (deep convolutional neural network), NR (normal resolution), IR (iterative reconstruction), LMA (left main coronary artery), CNR (contrast-to-noise ratio), ERS (edge rise slope)
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