Blooming Artifact Reduction in Coronary Artery Calcification by A New De-blooming Algorithm: Initial Study
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The aim of this study was to investigate the use of de-blooming algorithm in coronary CT angiography (CCTA) for optimal evaluation of calcified plaques. Calcified plaques were simulated on a coronary vessel phantom and a cardiac motion phantom. Two convolution kernels, standard (STND) and high-definition standard (HD STND), were used for imaging reconstruction. A dedicated de-blooming algorithm was used for imaging processing. We found a smaller bias towards measurement of stenosis using the deblooming algorithm (STND: bias 24.6% vs 15.0%, range 10.2% to 39.0% vs 4.0% to 25.9%; HD STND: bias 17.9% vs 11.0%, range 8.9% to 30.6% vs 0.5% to 21.5%). With use of de-blooming algorithm, specificity for diagnosing significant stenosis increased from 45.8% to 75.0% (STND), from 62.5% to 83.3% (HD STND); while positive predictive value (PPV) increased from 69.8% to 83.3% (STND), from 76.9% to 88.2% (HD STND). In the patient group, reduction in calcification volume was 48.1 ± 10.3%, reduction in coronary diameter stenosis over calcified plaque was 52.4 ± 24.2%. Our results suggest that the novel de-blooming algorithm could effectively decrease the blooming artifacts caused by coronary calcified plaques, and consequently improve diagnostic accuracy of CCTA in assessing coronary stenosis.
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