Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1835297, 13 pages
Research Article

Best-Quality Vessel Identification Using Vessel Quality Measure in Multiple-Phase Coronary CT Angiography

Department of Radiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

Received 23 March 2016; Revised 25 July 2016; Accepted 22 August 2016

Academic Editor: David A. Winkler

Copyright © 2016 Lubomir Hadjiiski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The detection of stenotic plaques strongly depends on the quality of the coronary arterial tree imaged with coronary CT angiography (cCTA). However, it is time consuming for the radiologist to select the best-quality vessels from the multiple-phase cCTA for interpretation in clinical practice. We are developing an automated method for selection of the best-quality vessels from coronary arterial trees in multiple-phase cCTA to facilitate radiologist’s reading or computerized analysis. Our automated method consists of vessel segmentation, vessel registration, corresponding vessel branch matching, vessel quality measure (VQM) estimation, and automatic selection of best branches based on VQM. For every branch, the VQM was calculated as the average radial gradient. An observer preference study was conducted to visually compare the quality of the selected vessels. 167 corresponding branch pairs were evaluated by two radiologists. The agreement between the first radiologist and the automated selection was 76% with kappa of 0.49. The agreement between the second radiologist and the automated selection was also 76% with kappa of 0.45. The agreement between the two radiologists was 81% with kappa of 0.57. The observer preference study demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed automated method for the selection of the best-quality vessels from multiple cCTA phases.