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Oost-Vlieland, Netherlands

Takx R.A.P.,University Utrecht | De Jong P.A.,University Utrecht | Leiner T.,University Utrecht | Oudkerk M.,Center for Medical Imaging North East | And 5 more authors.

Objective: To determine the agreement and reliability of fully automated coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring in a lung cancer screening population. Materials and Methods: 1793 low-dose chest CT scans were analyzed (non-contrast-enhanced, non-gated). To establish the reference standard for CAC, first automated calcium scoring was performed using a preliminary version of a method employing coronary calcium atlas and machine learning approach. Thereafter, each scan was inspected by one of four trained raters. When needed, the raters corrected initially automaticity-identified results. In addition, an independent observer subsequently inspected manually corrected results and discarded scans with gross segmentation errors. Subsequently, fully automatic coronary calcium scoring was performed. Agatston score, CAC volume and number of calcifications were computed. Agreement was determined by calculating proportion of agreement and examining Bland-Altman plots. Reliability was determined by calculating linearly weighted kappa (κ) for Agatston strata and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for continuous values. Results: 44 (2.5%) scans were excluded due to metal artifacts or gross segmentation errors. In the remaining 1749 scans, median Agatston score was 39.6 (P25-P75:0-345.9), median volume score was 60.4 mm3 (P25-P75:0-361.4) and median number of calcifications was 2 (P25-P75:0-4) for the automated scores. The k demonstrated very good reliability (0.85) for Agatston risk categories between the automated and reference scores. The Bland-Altman plots showed underestimation of calcium score values by automated quantification. Median difference was 2.5 (p25-p75:0.0-53.2) for Agatston score, 7.6 (p25-p75:0.0-94.4) for CAC volume and 1 (p25-p75:0-5) for number of calcifications. The ICC was very good for Agatston score (0.90), very good for calcium volume (0.88) and good for number of calcifications (0.64). Discussion: Fully automated coronary calcium scoring in a lung cancer screening setting is feasible with acceptable reliability and agreement despite an underestimation of the amount of calcium when compared to reference scores. © 2014 Takx et al. Source

Kristanto W.,Center for Medical Imaging North East | Kristanto W.,University of Groningen | van Ooijen P.M.A.,Center for Medical Imaging North East | van Ooijen P.M.A.,University of Groningen | And 6 more authors.

Background:Many computed tomography (CT) studies have reported that lipid-rich, presumably rupture-prone atherosclerotic plaques can be characterized according to their Hounsfield Unit (HU) value. However, the published HU-based characterization criteria vary considerably. The present study aims to systematically analyze these values and empirically derive a hierarchical classification of the HU-based criteria which can be referred in clinical situation.Material and Methods:A systematic search in PubMed and Embase for publications with HU-criteria to characterize lipid-rich and fibrous atherosclerotic plaques resulted in 36 publications, published between 1998 and 2011. The HU-criteria were systematically analyzed based on the characteristics of the reporting study. Significant differences between HU-criteria were checked using Student's t-test. Subsequently, a hierarchical classification of HU-criteria was developed based on the respective study characteristics.Results:No correlation was found between HU-criteria and the reported lumen contrast-enhancement. Significant differences were found for HU-criteria when pooled according to the respective study characteristics: examination type, vessel type, CT-vendor, detector-rows, voltage-setting, and collimation-width. The hierarchical classification resulted in 21 and 22 CT attenuation value categories, for lipid-rich and fibrous plaque, respectively. More than 50% of the hierarchically classified HU-criteria were significantly different.Conclusion:In conclusion, variations in the reported CT attenuation values for lipid-rich and fibrous plaque are so large that generalized values are unreliable for clinical use. The proposed hierarchical classification can be used to determine reference CT attenuation values of lipid-rich and fibrous plaques for the local setting. © 2013 Kristanto et al. Source

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