Original Paper

The International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 81-87

Reliability analysis of visual ranking of coronary artery calcification on low-dose CT of the thorax for lung cancer screening: comparison with ECG-gated calcium scoring CT

  • Yoon Kyung KimAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Gachon University Gil Medical Center
  • , Yon Mi SungAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Gachon University Gil Medical Center Email author 
  • , So Hyun ChoAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Gachon University Gil Medical Center
  • , Young Nam ParkAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Gachon University Gil Medical Center
  • , Hye-Young ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Gachon University Gil Medical Center

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Abstract

Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is frequently detected on low-dose CT (LDCT) of the thorax. Concurrent assessment of CAC and lung cancer screening using LDCT is beneficial in terms of cost and radiation dose reduction. The aim of our study was to evaluate the reliability of visual ranking of positive CAC on LDCT compared to Agatston score (AS) on electrocardiogram (ECG)-gated calcium scoring CT. We studied 576 patients who were consecutively registered for health screening and undergoing both LDCT and ECG-gated calcium scoring CT. We excluded subjects with an AS of zero. The final study cohort included 117 patients with CAC (97 men; mean age, 53.4 ± 8.5). AS was used as the gold standard (mean score 166.0; range 0.4–3,719.3). Two board-certified radiologists and two radiology residents participated in an observer performance study. Visual ranking of CAC was performed according to four categories (1–10, 11–100, 101–400, and 401 or higher) for coronary artery disease risk stratification. Weighted kappa statistics were used to measure the degree of reliability on visual ranking of CAC on LDCT. The degree of reliability on visual ranking of CAC on LDCT compared to ECG-gated calcium scoring CT was excellent for board-certified radiologists and good for radiology residents. A high degree of association was observed with 71.6 % of visual rankings in the same category as the Agatston category and 98.9 % varying by no more than one category. Visual ranking of positive CAC on LDCT is reliable for predicting AS rank categorization.

Keywords

Coronary artery calcification Low-dose CT Lung cancer screening