On the use of computed tomography in cardiac imaging
Sammanfattning: BackgroundCardiac Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) is becoming increasingly useful in the work‐up of coronary artery disease (CAD). Several potential methods for increasing the diagnostic yield of cardiac CT are available.Purpose Study I: To investigate whether the use of a 2‐D, non‐linear adaptive noise reduction filter can improve CCTA image quality.Study II: To evaluate the variation in adenosine stress dynamic CT perfusion (CTP) blood flow as compared to stress 99mTc SPECT. Secondly, to compare the perfusion results from manual and automatic myocardial CTP segmentation.Study III: To evaluate the accuracy of non‐invasive, CCTA‐derived Fractional Flow Reserve (cFFR).Study IV: To evaluate the prognostic value of CCTA in terms of major adverse cardiac events (MACE).Materials and methodsStudy I: Single images from 36 consecutive CCTA exams performed with two different dose levels were used. Image quality in full dose, low‐dose and noise‐reduced low‐dose images was graded using visual grading analysis. Image noise was measured.Study II: CTP and SPECT were performed in 17 patients, and the variation in per AHA‐segment blood flow was evaluated and compared. CTP results from manual and automated image segmentation were compared.Study III: CCTA datasets from 21 patients were processed using cFFR software and the results compared to the corresponding invasively measured FFR (invFFR).Study IV: 1205 consecutive patients with chest pain of unknown origin underwent CCTA. Baseline data and data on subsequent MACE were retrieved from relevant registries. Survival, hazard ratios and the three‐year incidence of cardiac events and readmissions were calculated.Results Study I: There was significant improvement in perceived image quality for all criteria when the filter was applied, and a significant decrease in image noise.Study II: The correlation coefficients for CTP vs. SPECT were 0.38 and 0.41 (p<0.001, for manual and automated segmentation respectively. Mean per patient CTP blood flow in normal segments varied between 94‐183 ml/100 ml tissue/min for manual segmentation, and 104‐196 ml/100 ml tissue/min for automated segmentation. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient for manual vs. automated segmentation CTP was ρ = 0.88 (p<0.001) and the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) was 0.93 (p<0.001).Study III: The Spearman rank correlation coefficient for cFFR vs. invFFR was ρ = 0.77 (p<0.001) and the ICC was 0.73 (p<0.001). Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for significant stenosis (FFR<0.80, per vessel) were 0.83, 0.76, 0.56 and 0.93 respectively.Study IV: The hazard ratio for non‐obstructive CAD vs. normal coronary arteries was 5.13 (95% C.I 1.03‐25.43, p<0.05), and 151.40 (95% C.I 37.03‐619.08, p<0.001) for obstructive CAD vs. normal coronary arteries. The three‐year incidence of MACE was 1.1% for patients with normal vessels on CCTA, 2.5% for patients with non‐obstructive CAD and 42.7% for patients with obstructive CAD (p<0.001).Conclusions:Study I: Image quality and noise levels of low dose images were significantly improved with the filter, even though the improvement was small compared to the image quality of the corresponding diastolic full‐dose images.Study II: Correlation between dynamic CTP and SPECT was positive but weak. There were large variations in CTP blood flow in normal segments on SPECT, rendering the definition of an absolute cut‐off value for normal vs. ischemic myocardium difficult. Manual and automatic segmentation were equally useful.Study III: The correlation between cFFR and invFFR was good, indicating that noninvasively estimated cFFR performs on a similar level as invasively measure FFR. Study IV: The long‐term risk for MACE was very low in patients without obstructive CAD on CCTA, though there seemed to be a substantial increase in the risk for MACE even in patients with non‐obstructive CAD as compared to normal coronary arteries. In addition, even patients with normal coronary arteries or non‐obstructive CAD continued to have a substantial number of readmissions for chest pain or angina pectoris.
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