The purpose of this study was to study the effect of iterative reconstruction (IR) software on quantitative plaque measurements in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA).
Thirty patients with a three clinical risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) had one CCTA performed. Images were reconstructed using FBP, 30% and 60% adaptive statistical IR (ASIR). Coronary plaque analysis was performed as per patient and per vessel (LM, LAD, CX and RCA) measurements. Lumen and vessel volumes and plaque burden measurements were based on automatic detected contours in each reconstruction. Lumen and plaque intensity measurements and HU based plaque characterization were based on corrected contours copied to each reconstruction.
No significant changes between FBP and 30% ASIR were found except for lumen- (-2.53 HU) and plaque intensities (-1.28 HU). Between FBP and 60% ASIR the change in total volume showed an increase of 0.94%, 4.36% and 2.01% for lumen, plaque and vessel, respectively. The change in total plaque burden between FBP and 60% ASIR was 0.76%. Lumen and plaque intensities decreased between FBP and 60% ASIR with -9.90 HU and -1.97 HU, respectively. The total plaque component volume changes were all small with a maximum change of -1.13% of necrotic core between FBP and 60% ASIR.
Quantitative plaque measurements only showed modest differences between FBP and the 60% ASIR level. Differences were increased lumen-, vessel- and plaque volumes, decreased lumen- and plaque intensities and a small percentage change in the individual plaque component volumes.