Estimating coronary blood flow using CT transluminal attenuation flow encoding: Formulation, preclinical validation, and clinical feasibility

Albert C. Lardo, Amir Ali Rahsepar, Jung Hee Seo, Parastou Eslami, Frederick Korley, Satoru Kishi, Thura Abd, Rajat Mittal, Richard T. George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: We present the formulation and testing of a new CT angiography (CTA)-based method for noninvasive measurement of absolute coronary blood flow (CBF) termed transluminal attenuation flow encoding (TAFE). CTA provides assessment of coronary plaque but does not allow for detection of vessel specific ischemia. A simple and direct method to calculate absolute CBF from a standard CTA could isolate the functional consequence of disease and aid therapy decisions. Methods: We present the theoretical framework and initial testing of TAFE. Nine canine models of ischemic heart disease were prepared and underwent CT imaging and microsphere measurements of myocardial blood flow. Additionally, 39 acute chest pain patients with normal coronary arteries underwent coronary CTA. We applied TAFE to calculate absolute CBF in the coronary arteries using 4 vessel input parameters including transluminal attenuation gradient, cross-sectional area, length, and the contrast bolus duration derived from the arterial input function. Results: In animal studies, TAFE-derived CBF in the left anterior descending, left circumflex, and right coronary artery was 20.8 ± 10.4 mL/min, 27.0 ± 13.4 mL/min, and 6.0 ± 3.7 mL/min, respectively. TAFE-derived CBF divided by myocardial mass strongly correlated with microsphere myocardial blood flow (R2 = 0.90, P < .001). In human studies, TAFE-derived CBF in the left anterior descending, left circumflex, and right coronary artery was 26.4 ± 10.7 mL/min, 20.1 ± 13.0 mL/min, and 43.2 ± 40.9 mL/min, respectively. CBF per unit mass was 0.93 ± 0.48 mL/g/min in patients. Interobserver variability was minimal with excellent correlation (R = 0.96, P < .0001) and agreement (mean difference, 4.2 mL/min). Conclusion: TAFE allows for quantification of absolute CBF from a standard CTA acquisition and may provide functional significance of coronary disease without complex computational methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-566.e1
JournalJournal of cardiovascular computed tomography
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Keywords

  • Computed tomography
  • Coronary atherosclerosis
  • Coronary blood flow
  • Fractional flow reserve
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Transluminal attenuation gradients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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