Quantitative and Qualitative Coronary Plaque Assessment Using Computed Tomography Coronary Angiography: A Comparison With Intravascular Ultrasound

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Background: To compare computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA) with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) in quantitative and qualitative plaque assessment. Methods: Patients who underwent IVUS and CTCA within 3 months for suspected coronary artery disease were retrospectively studied. Plaque volumes on CTCA were quantified manually and with automated-software and were compared to IVUS. High-risk plaque features were compared between CTCA and IVUS. Results: There were 769 slices in 32 vessels (27 patients). Manual plaque quantification on CTCA was comparable to IVUS per slice (mean difference of 0.06 ± 0.07, p = 0.44; Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement -2.19–2.08 mm3, bias of -0.06 mm3) and per vessel (3.1 mm3 ± -2.85 mm3, p = 0.92). In contrast, there was significant difference between automated-software and IVUS per slice (2.3 ± 0.09mm3, p < 0.001; 95% LoA -6.78 to 2.25 mm3, bias of -2.2 mm3) and per vessel (33.04 ± 10.3 mm3, p < 0.01). The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of CTCA to detect plaques that had features of echo-attenuation on IVUS was 93.3%, 99.6%, 93.3% and 99.6% respectively. The association of ≥2 high-risk plaque features on CTCA with echo attenuation (EA) plaque features on IVUS was excellent (86.7%, 99.6%, 92.9% and 99.2%). In comparison, the association of high-risk plaque features on CTCA and plaques with echo-lucency on IVUS was only modest. Conclusion: Plaque volume quantification by manual CTCA method is accurate when compared to IVUS. The presence of at least two high-risk plaque features on CTCA is associated with plaque features of echo attenuation on IVUS.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jun 2019


  • Computed tomography coronary angiography
  • Echo-attenuated plaques
  • Intravascular ultrasound
  • Low-attenuation plaque
  • Plaque quantification

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