Correlation between carotid bifurcation calcium burden on non-enhanced CT and percentage stenosis, as confirmed by digital subtraction angiography

Basar Sarikaya, B. Lohman, A. M. Mckinney, S. Gadani, M. Irfan, L. Lucato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Previous evidence supports a direct relationship between the calcium burden (volume) on post-contrast CT with the percent internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis at the carotid bifurcation. We sought to further investigate this relationship by comparing non-enhanced CT (NECT) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Methods: 50 patients (aged 41-82 years) were retrospectively identified who had undergone cervical NECT and DSA. A 64-multidetector array CT (MDCT) scanner was utilised and the images reviewed using preset window widths/levels (30/300) optimised to calcium, with the volumes measured via three-dimensional reconstructive software. Stenosis measurements were performed on DSA and luminal diameter stenoses >40% were considered "significant". Volume thresholds of 0.01, 0.03, 0.06, 0.09 and 0.12 cm 3 were utilised and Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) was calculated to correlate the calcium volume with percent stenosis. Results: Of 100 carotid bifurcations, 88 were available and of these 7 were significantly stenotic. The NECT calcium volume moderately correlated with percent stenosis on DSA r=0.53 (p<0.01). A moderate-strong correlation was found between the square root of calcium volume on NECT with percent stenosis on DSA (r=0.60, p<0.01). Via a receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.06cm3 was determined to be the best threshold (sensitivity 100%, specificity 90.1%, negative predictive value 100% and positive predictive value 46.7%) for detecting significant stenoses. Conclusion: This preliminary investigation confirms a correlation between carotid bifurcation calcium volume and percent ICA stenosis and is promising for the optimal threshold for stenosis detection. Future studies could utilise calcium volumes to create a "score" that could predict high grade stenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e284-e292
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Volume85
Issue number1015
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

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