Reproducibility of quantitative coronary computed tomography angiography in asymptomatic individuals and patients with acute chest pain

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PURPOSE: Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) provides important prognostic information of coronary atherosclerosis. We investigated intraobserver and interobserver QCT reproducibility in asymptomatic individuals, patients with acute chest pain without acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and patients with acute chest pain and ACS.

METHODS: Fifty patients from each cohort, scanned between 01/02/2010-14/11/2013 and matched according to age and gender, were retrospectively assessed for inclusion. Patients with no coronary artery disease, previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and poor image quality were excluded. Coronary atherosclerosis was measured semi-automatically by 2 readers. Reproducibility of minimal lumen area (MLA), minimal lumen diameter (MLD), area stenosis, diameter stenosis, vessel remodeling, plaque eccentricity, plaque burden, and plaque volumes was assessed using concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), Bland-Altman, coefficient of variation, and Cohen's kappa.

RESULTS: A total of 84 patients (63 matched) were included. Intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility estimates were acceptable for MLA (CCC = 0.94 and CCC = 0.91, respectively), MLD (CCC = 0.92 and CCC = 0.86, respectively), plaque burden (CCC = 0.86 and CCC = 0.80, respectively), and plaque volume (CCC = 0.97 and CCC = 0.95, respectively). QCT detected area and diameter stenosis ≥50%, positive remodeling, and eccentric plaque with moderate-good intraobserver and interobserver reproducibility (kappa: 0.64-0.66, 0.69-0.76, 0.46-0.48, and 0.41-0.62, respectively). Reproducibility of plaque composition decreased with decreasing plaque density (intraobserver and interobserver CCC for dense calcium (>0.99; 0.98), fibrotic (0.96; 0.93), fibro-fatty (0.95; 0.91), and necrotic core tissue (0.89; 0.84). Reproducibility generally decreased with worsening clinical risk profile.

CONCLUSIONS: Semi-automated QCT of coronary plaque morphology is reproducible, albeit with some decline in reproducibility with worsening patient risk profile.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0207980
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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