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30 March 2016 Calcium scoring with dual-energy CT in men and women: an anthropomorphic phantom study
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This work aimed to quantify and compare the potential impact of gender differences on coronary artery calcium scoring with dual-energy CT. An anthropomorphic thorax phantom with four synthetic heart vessels (diameter 3-4.5 mm: female/male left main and left circumflex artery) were scanned with and without female breast plates. Ten repeat scans were acquired in both single- and dual-energy modes and reconstructed at six reconstruction settings: two slice thicknesses (3 mm, 0.6 mm) and three reconstruction algorithms (FBP, IR3, IR5). Agatston and calcium volume scores were estimated from the reconstructed data using a segmentation-based approach. Total calcium score (summation of four vessels), and male/female calcium scores (summation of male/female vessels scanned in phantom without/with breast plates) were calculated accordingly. Both Agatston and calcium volume scores were found comparable between single- and dual-energy scans (Pearson r= 0.99, p<0.05). The total calcium scores were larger for the thinner slice thickness. Among the scores obtained from the three reconstruction algorithms, FBP yielded the highest and IR5 yielded the lowest scores. The total calcium scores from the phantom without breast plates were significantly larger than those from the phantom with breast plates, and the difference increased with the stronger denoising in iterative algorithm and with thicker slices. Both gender-based anatomical differences and vessel size impacted the calcium scores. The calcium volume scores tended to be underestimated when the vessels were smaller. These findings are valuable for understanding inconsistencies between women and men in calcium scoring, and for standardizing imaging protocols for improved gender-specific calcium scoring.
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Qin Li, Songtao Liu M.D., Kyle Myers, Marios A. Gavrielides, Rongping Zeng, Berkman Sahiner, and Nicholas Petrick "Calcium scoring with dual-energy CT in men and women: an anthropomorphic phantom study", Proc. SPIE 9783, Medical Imaging 2016: Physics of Medical Imaging, 978346 (30 March 2016);

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