Quantification of Calcium in Peripheral Arteries of the Lower Extremities: Comparison of Different CT Scanners and Scoring Platforms

van der Star, Simone, de Jong, Daan J, Bleys, Ronald L A W, Kuijf, Hugo J, Schilham, Arnold, de Jong, Pim A, Kok, Madeleine


Investigative Radiology 57 (3), p. 141-147


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the interscanner and interscoring platform variability of calcium quantification in peripheral arteries of the lower extremities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty human fresh-frozen legs were scanned using 3 different computed tomography (CT) scanners. The radiation dose (CTDIvol) was kept similar for all scanners. The calcium scores (Agatston and volume scores) were quantified using 4 semiautomatic scoring platforms. Comparative analysis of the calcium scores between scanners and scoring platforms was performed by using the Friedman test; post hoc analysis was performed by using the Wilcoxon signed rank test with Bonferroni correction. RESULTS: Sixteen legs had calcifications and were used for data analysis. Agatston and volume scores ranged from 12.1 to 6580 Agatston units and 18.2 to 5579 mm3. Calcium scores differed significantly between Philips IQon and Philips Brilliance 64 (Agatston: 19.5% [P = 0.001]; volume: 14.5% [P = 0.001]) and Siemens Somatom Force (Agatston: 18.1% [P = 0.001]; volume: 17.5% [P = 0.001]). The difference between Brilliance 64 and Somatom Force was smaller (Agatston: 5.6% [P = 0.778]; volume: 7.7% [P = 0.003]). With respect to the interscoring platform variability, OsiriX produced significantly different Agatston scores compared with the other 3 scoring platforms (OsiriX vs IntelliSpace: 14.8% [P = 0.001] vs Syngo CaScore: 13.9% [P = 0.001] vs iX viewer: 13.2% [P < 0.001]). For the volume score, the differences between all scoring platforms were small ranging from 2.9% to 4.0%. Post hoc analysis showed a significant difference between OsiriX and IntelliSpace (3.8% [P = 0.001]). CONCLUSIONS: The use of different CT scanners resulted in notably different Agatston and volume scores, whereas the use of different scoring platforms resulted in limited variability especially for the volume score. In conclusion, the variability in calcium quantification was most evident between different CT scanners and for the Agatston score.