Coronary Artery Calcium Quantification at Multi-Detector Row Helical CT versus Electron-Beam CT
Stanford W, Thompson BH, Burns TL, Heery SD, Burr MC.
PURPOSE: To compare coronary artery calcium scores from a multi-detector row helical computed tomographic (CT) scanner with those from an electron-beam CT scanner, with emphasis on subjects with calcium scores less than 400.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-eight asymptomatic subjects (37 women, 41 men; age range, 39-78 years; mean age, 54.2 years) underwent multi-detector row CT and electron-beam CT. Volume and Agatston scores were calculated with a workstation. Statistical analyses included assessment of association between calcium scores from two scanners, calculation of percent absolute difference to assess score variability between scanners, equivalence analysis, construction of Bland-Altman plots to assess agreement between scores, and assessment of changes in score grouping and risk criteria based on score differences between scanners.
RESULTS: Electron-beam CT calcium scores were higher than multi-detector row CT scores. Linear association between calcium scores obtained from paired scans was significant (r = 0.96-0.99, P < .001). Mean percent absolute differences were 67.9% and 65.0% for volume and Agatston scores, respectively (48.6% and 46.3% for corresponding natural log-transformed scores). In subjects with a score of 11 or greater, mean percent absolute differences between electron-beam CT and multi-detector row CT scores ranged from 15% to 30% (<10% for natural log-transformed calcium scores). With a 20% equivalence limit, calcium scores from the two scanners were statistically equivalent (P < .05). Score grouping would have been subject to change in 12 (11 increased and one decreased; six with scores of 11 or greater), and possible risk management decisions would have been subject to change in eight (16%) of 51 subjects who underwent electron-beam CT versus multi-detector row CT scanning.
CONCLUSION: Multi-detector row CT appears to be comparable to electron-beam CT for coronary calcification screening, except in subjects with a calcium score less than 11.