Semi-automated software can provide quantitative assessment of atherosclerotic plaques on coronary CT angiography (CTA). The relationship between established qualitative high-risk plaque features and quantitative plaque measurements has not been studied. We analyzed the association between quantitative plaque measurements and qualitative high-risk plaque features on coronary CTA. We included 260 patients with plaque who underwent coronary CTA in the Rule Out Myocardial Infarction/Ischemia Using Computer Assisted Tomography (ROMICAT) II trial. Quantitative plaque assessment and qualitative plaque characterization were performed on a per coronary segment basis. Quantitative coronary plaque measurements included plaque volume, plaque burden, remodeling index, and diameter stenosis. In qualitative analysis, high-risk plaque was present if positive remodeling, low CT attenuation plaque, napkin-ring sign or spotty calcium were detected. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association between quantitative and qualitative high-risk plaque assessment. Among 888 segments with coronary plaque, high-risk plaque was present in 391 (44.0%) segments by qualitative analysis. In quantitative analysis, segments with high-risk plaque had higher total plaque volume, low CT attenuation plaque volume, plaque burden and remodeling index. Quantitatively assessed low CT attenuation plaque volume (odds ratio 1.12 per 1 mm3, 95% CI 1.04–1.21), positive remodeling (odds ratio 1.25 per 0.1, 95% CI 1.10–1.41) and plaque burden (odds ratio 1.53 per 0.1, 95% CI 1.08–2.16) were associated with high-risk plaque. Quantitative coronary plaque characteristics (low CT attenuation plaque volume, positive remodeling and plaque burden) measured by semi-automated software correlated with qualitative assessment of high-risk plaque features.
- Coronary CT angiography
- Coronary atherosclerosis
- High-risk coronary plaque
- Quantitative assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine