Threshold adjusted calcium scoring using CT is less susceptible to cardiac motion and more accurate



The purpose of this paper is to investigate calcium scoring on computed tomography (CT) using an adjusted threshold depending on the maximum Hounsfield value within the calcification (HUpeak). The volume of 19 calcifications was retrospectively determined on 64-slice multidetector CT and dual source CT (DSCT) at different thresholds and the threshold associated with the physical volume was determined. In addition, approximately 10000 computer simulations were done simulating the same process for calcifications with mixed density. Using these data a relation between the HUpeak and the threshold could be established. Hereafter, this relation was assessed by scanning six calcifications in a phantom at 40–110 beats per minute using DSCT. The influence of motion was determined and the measured calcium scores were compared to the physical volumes and mass. A positive linear correlation was found between the scoring threshold and the HUpeak of the calcifications both for the phantom measurements as for the computer simulations. Using this relation the individual threshold for each calcification could be calculated. Calcium scores of the moving calcifications determined with an adjusted threshold were approximately 30% less susceptible to cardiac motion compared to standard calcium scoring. Furthermore, these scores approximated the physical volume and mass at least 10% better than the standard calcium scores. The threshold in calcium scoring should be adjusted for each individual calcification based on the HUpeak of the calcification. Calcium scoring using an adjusted threshold is less susceptible to cardiac motion and more accurate compared to the physical values.