Single low-dose CT scan optimized for rest-stress PET attenuation correction and quantification of coronary artery calcium
Coronary artery calcium is an important marker of coronary artery disease. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) using PET-CT technology requires a CT scan for attenuation correction (CTAC) but is not used routinely to measure coronary calcium burden. This study aimed to determine if a low-dose CTAC scan can also accurately quantify coronary artery calcium.
Twenty-three patients underwent both a traditional coronary artery calcium scan on a dedicated cardiac CT scanner (CAC-CT) and a myocardial perfusion scan on a hybrid PET-CT scanner. The standard MPI protocol includes rest and stress-matched PET and CTAC scans. The post-stress CTAC scan was modified to approximate the CAC-CT scan protocol while maintaining ~0.5 mSv dose. Coronary artery calcium scores were compared between the Ca-CTAC and CAC-CT scans.
The modified Ca-CTAC scan showed a trend toward slight decreases in segmental stress perfusion of 2-3.5% in the anterior wall segments (P < 0.05). Correlation and agreement between the proposed Ca-CTAC and standard CAC-CT calcium scores at the optimal threshold of 110 HU were also excellent (r2 = 0.99, κ = 1.0). There was a small difference in the regression slope vs unity: Ca-CTAC = 0.96 × CAC (P < 0.05), but the categorical classification of calcium was accurate in all twenty-three patients (κ = 1.0).
A single low-dose rest CTAC scan can be used for accurate attenuation correction of rest and stress PET perfusion images, thus allowing a post-stress CTAC scan to be optimized for improved quantification of coronary artery calcium without increasing radiation dose vs standard protocols.
KeywordsPET/CT imaging coronary artery calcium rubidium
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