Influence of iterative reconstruction on coronary calcium scores at multiple heart rates: A multivendor phantom study on state-of-the-art CT systems

van der Werf, N. R., Willemink, M. J., Willems, T. P., Greuter, M. J. W. & Leiner, T., Jun-2017, In : International Journal Of Cardiovascular Imaging. 34, 6, p. 947-957 11 p.

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of iterative reconstruction on coronary calcium scores (CCS) at different heart rates for four state-of-the-art CT systems. Within an anthropomorphic chest phantom, artificial coronary arteries were translated in a water-filled compartment. The arteries contained three different calcifications with low (38 mg), medium (80 mg) and high (157 mg) mass. Linear velocities were applied, corresponding to heart rates of 0, < 60, 60-75 and > 75 bpm. Data were acquired on four state-of-the-art CT systems (CT1-CT4) with routinely used CCS protocols. Filtered back projection (FBP) and three increasing levels of iterative reconstruction (L1-L3) were used for reconstruction. CCS were quantified as Agatston score and mass score. An iterative reconstruction susceptibility (IRS) index was used to assess susceptibility of Agatston score (IRSAS) and mass score (IRSMS) to iterative reconstruction. IRS values were compared between CT systems and between calcification masses. For each heart rate, differences in CCS of iterative reconstructed images were evaluated with CCS of FBP images as reference, and indicated as small (< 5%), medium (5-10%) or large (> 10%). Statistical analysis was performed with repeated measures ANOVA tests. While subtle differences were found for Agatston scores of low mass calcification, medium and high mass calcifications showed increased CCS up to 77% with increasing heart rates. IRSAS of CT1-T4 were 17, 41, 130 and 22% higher than IRSMS. Not only were IRS significantly different between all CT systems, but also between calcification masses. Up to a fourfold increase in IRS was found for the low mass calcification in comparison with the high mass calcification. With increasing iterative reconstruction strength, maximum decreases of 21 and 13% for Agatston and mass score were found. In total, 21 large differences between Agatston scores from FBP and iterative reconstruction were found, while only five large differences were found between FBP and iterative reconstruction mass scores. Iterative reconstruction results in reduced CCS. The effect of iterative reconstruction on CCS is more prominent with low-density calcifications, high heart rates and increasing iterative reconstruction strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-957
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal Of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2017


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