, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 321-329
Date: 04 Jul 2006

The accuracy of 1- and 3-mm slices in coronary calcium scoring using multi-slice CT in vitro and in vivo

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Abstract

The accuracy of coronary calcium scoring using 16-row MSCT comparing 1- and 3-mm slices was assessed. A thorax phantom with calcium cylinder inserts was scanned applying a non-enhanced retrospectively ECG-gated examination protocol: collimation 12×0.75 mm; 120 kV; 133 mAseff. Thirty-eight patients were examined using the same scan protocol. Image reconstruction was performed with an effective slice thickness of 3 and 1 mm. The volume score, calcium mass and Agatston score were determined. Image noise was measured in both studies. The volume score and calcium mass varied less than the Agatston score. The overall measured calcium mass compared to the actual calcium mass revealed a relative difference of +2.0% for 1-mm slices and −1.2% for 3-mm slices. Due to increased image noise in thinner slices in the patient study (26.1 HU), overall calcium scoring with a scoring threshold of 130 HU was not feasible. Interlesion comparison showed significantly higher scoring results for thinner slices (all P<0.001). A similar accuracy comparing calcium scoring results of 1- and 3-mm slices was shown in the phantom study; therefore, the potentially necessary increase of the patient's dose in order to achieve assessable 1-mm slices with an acceptable image-to-noise-ratio appears not to be justified.

The study was supported by a “START” grant from the University Hospital of Aachen, Germany.