The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 353–363

Assessment of atherosclerotic plaques in a rabbit model by delayed-phase contrast-enhanced CT angiography: comparison with histopathology

Authors

  • Jin Hur
    • Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Young Jin Kim
    • Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Hyo Sup Shim
    • Department of PathologyYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Hye-Jeong Lee
    • Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Ji Eun Nam
    • Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of Medicine
  • Kyu Ok Choe
    • Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of Medicine
    • Department of Radiology, Severance HospitalYonsei University College of Medicine
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10554-011-9801-x

Cite this article as:
Hur, J., Kim, Y.J., Shim, H.S. et al. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging (2012) 28: 353. doi:10.1007/s10554-011-9801-x

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare delayed-phase computed tomography angiography (CTA) attenuation values with histopathology, in ability to differentiate between fibrous and lipid-rich plaques in an experimental rabbit model. Twelve atherosclerotic rabbits underwent CTA of the abdominal aorta. The scan protocol included early-phase scans (EP), delayed scans at 90 s after contrast injection (DP90s), delayed scans at 10 min after contrast injection (DP10min), and delayed scan with saline infusion (DPSaline). Plaque composition was analyzed by histopathology (% of lipid-rich, fibrous and macrophage areas) and CT attenuation values in Hounsfield units. Using histopathology as the reference standard (n = 119), the overall sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 64-slice CTA for the detection of plaques was 59, 100 and 79% for the EP scans; 88, 100 and 94% for the DP90s scans; 81, 100 and 90% for the DP10min scans; and 53, 100 and 76% for the DPSaline scans. CT density measurements showed a substantial overlap between fibrous and lipid-rich plaques, and poor correlations with the percentage of macrophage areas in both fibrous and lipid-rich plaques (r = 0.408, and r = 0.333). In delayed-phase 64-slice CTA, DP90s images have the best diagnostic performance for the detection of aortic plaques.

Keywords

Computed tomography angiography (CTA)Atherosclerotic plaqueComposition

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2011