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23 February 2012 Coronary artery remodeling in non-contrast CT images
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A significant cause of coronary artery disease is the coronary atherosclerosis which leads to stenosis of coronary arteries. It has been shown in recent studies, using intravascular ultrasound and contrast-enhanced CT, that early atherosclerosis causes positive coronary artery remodeling, defined as increases in the cross-sectional area. It is hypothesized that detection of artery remodeling using non-contrast CT can be an important factor in sub-clinical assessment of cardiac risk for asymptomatic subjects. However, measuring remodeling in coronary arteries in non-contrast CT images is a challenging task because coronary arteries are small and the intensity of coronary arteries is similar to that of surrounding tissues. Automatic segmentation algorithms that have been successful in segmenting coronary arteries in contrast-enhanced images do not perform well. To overcome these difficulties, we developed an interactive application to enable effective measurement of coronary artery remodeling in non-contrast CT images. This application is an extension to the 3D Slicer image analysis platform. It allows users to visualize and trace the centerline of arteries in cross sectional views. The artery centerlines are displayed in a three dimensional view overlaid on the original image volume and color-coded according to the artery labels. Using this 3D artery model, the user can sample the cross-sectional area of the arteries at selected points for remodeling assessment. Initial validation has demonstrated the effectiveness of this method. A pilot study also showed positive correlation of large coronary artery remodeling with highest lifetime risks. Further evaluation is underway using larger study size and more measurement points.
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Haiyong Xu, Mingna Zheng, Yanhua Yang, J. Jeffery Carr, and Yaorong Ge "Coronary artery remodeling in non-contrast CT images", Proc. SPIE 8315, Medical Imaging 2012: Computer-Aided Diagnosis, 83151F (23 February 2012);

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