Computed tomography of the coronary arteries (CTCA) is an important diagnostic tool. However, motion degradation is sometimes a challenge to interpretation and quantification, particularly with elevated heart rates. Here, a novel quantitative method is presented as part of an evaluation of one particular motion correction algorithm.
Computed tomography of the coronary arteries scans from 49 patients, with heart rates of >70 bpm, were identified with motion artifacts in multiple coronary segments. At these foci (196), an objective measure of motion degradation, defined here by cross-section eccentricity, was determined before and after image processing with second-generation GE SnapShot Freeze software (SSF-2.0). In addition, a subjective scoring was applied by an expert cardiothoracic radiologist both before and after processing.
An overall decrease in vessel eccentricity strongly correlated (P < 0.001) with processing of the images by motion-correction software. A concurrent overall increase in subjective vessel clarity correlated (P < 0.001) with application of the software as well.
A novel quantitative method (and subjective analysis) for evaluation of CTCA motion has been described and applied to validation of SSF-2.0 motion-correction software. Both the technique and software demonstrate promise for robust clinical utility in CTCA evaluation.