A model for quantitative correction of coronary calcium scores on multidetector, dual source, and electron beam computed tomography for influences of linear motion, calcification density, and temporal resolution: A cardiac phantom study

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

The objective of this study is to quantify the influence of linear motion, calcification density, and temporal resolution on coronary calcium determination using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT), dual source CT (DSCT), and electron beam tomography (EBT) and to find a quantitative method which corrects for the influences of these parameters using a linear moving cardiac phantom.

Methods:

On a robotic arm with artificial arteries with four calcifications of increasing density, a linear movement was applied between 0 and 120 mm/s (step of 10 mm/s). The phantom was scanned five times on 64-slice MDCT, DSCT, and EBT using a standard acquisition protocol. The average Agatston, volume, and mass scores were determined for each velocity, calcification, and scanner. Susceptibility to motion was quantified using a cardiac motion susceptibility (CMS) index. Resemblance to EBT and physical volume and mass was quantified using aΔ index.

Results:

Increasing motion artifacts were observed at increasing velocities on all scanners, with increasing severity from EBT to DSCT to 64-slice MDCT. The calcium score showed a linear dependency on motion from which a correction factor could be derived. This correction factor showed a linear dependency on the mean calcification density with a good fit for all three scoring methods and all three scanners (0.73R20.95). The slope and offset of this correction factor showed a linear dependency on temporal resolution with a good fit for all three scoring methods and all three scanners (0.83R20.98). CMS was minimal for EBT and increasing values were observed for DSCT and highest values for 64-slice MDCT. CMS was minimal for mass score and increasing values were observed for volume score and highest values for Agatston score. For all densities and scoring methods DSCT showed on average the closest resemblance to EBT calcium scores. When using the correction factor, CMS index decreased on average by 15% and Δ index decreased by 35%.

Conclusions:

Calcium scores determined on DSCT and 64-slice MDCT are highly susceptible to motion as compared to EBT. The mass score is less susceptible to motion compared to volume and Agatston score. Calcium scores determined on DSCT bear a closer resemblance to EBT obtained calcium scores than 64-slice MDCT. In addition, the calcium score is highly dependent on the average density of individual calcifications and the dependency of the calcium score on motion showed a linear behavior on calcification density. From these relations, a quantitative method could be derived which corrects the measured calcium score for the influence of linear motion, mean calcification density, and temporal resolution.

Ancillary