Coronary artery stenoses: Detection with calcium scoring, CT angiography, and both methods combined

George T. LAU, Lloyd J. RIDLEY, Max C. SCHIEB, David B. BRIEGER, S. Benedict FREEDMAN, Louise A. WONG, Sing Kai LO, Leonard KRITHARIDES

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To investigate prospectively the relative accuracy of computed tomographic (CT) angiography, calcium scoring (CS), and both methods combined in demonstrating coronary artery stenoses by using conventional angiography as the reference standard. 

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was approved by the institutional review board Human Research Ethics Committee, and all patients completed written informed consent. Fifty patients (40 men, 10 women) aged 62 years ± 11 (± standard deviation) who were suspected of having coronary artery disease underwent both conventional coronary angiography and multisection coronary CT angiography with CS. Sensitivity and specificity of CS, CT angiography, and both methods combined in demonstrating luminal stenosis greater than or equal to 50% were determined for each arterial segment, coronary vessel, and patient. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated for CS prediction of significant stenosis, and the Mann-Whitney U test was used for comparison of CS between groups. 

RESULTS: When used with segment-specific electrocardiographic phase reconstructions, CT angiography demonstrated stenosed segments with 79% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Mean calcium score was greater in segments, vessels, and patients with stenoses than in segments, vessels, and patients without stenoses (P < .001 for all); nine (16%) of 56 stenosed segments, however, had a calcium score of 0. The patient calcium score correlated strongly with the number of stenosed arteries (Spearman p = 0.75, P < .001). CS was more accurate in demonstrating stenosis in patients than in segments (areas under ROC curve were 0.88 and 0.74, respectively). CT angiography, however, was more accurate than CS in demonstrating stenosis in patients, vessels, and segments. The sensitivity and specificity of CS varied according to the threshold used, but when the calcium score cutoff (ie, >150) matched the specificity of CT angiography (95%), the sensitivity of CS in demonstrating stenosed segments was 29% (compared with 79% for CT angiography). Combining CT angiography with CS (at threshold of 400) improved the sensitivity of CT angiography (from 93% to 100%) in demonstrating significant coronary disease in patients, without a loss of specificity (85%); this finding, however, was not statistically significant. 

CONCLUSION: CT angiography is more accurate than CS in demonstrating coronary stenoses. A patient calcium score of greater than or equal to 400, however, can be used to potentially identify patients with significant coronary stenoses not detected at CT angiography. Copyright © 2005 RSNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-422
JournalRadiology
Volume235
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Citation

Lau, G. T., Ridley, L. J., Schieb, M. C., Brieger, D. B., Freedman, S. B., Wong, L. A., . . . Kritharides, L. (2005). Coronary artery stenoses: Detection with calcium scoring, CT angiography, and both methods combined. Radiology, 235(2), 415-422. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2352031813

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