Relative atherosclerotic plaque volume by CT coronary angiography trumps conventional stenosis assessment for identifying flow-limiting lesions

Nahoko Kato, Satoru Kishi, Armin Zadeh, Frank J. Rybicki, Shuzou Tanimoto, Jiro Aoki, Mika Watanabe, Yu Horiuchi, Koichi Furui, Kazuhiro Hara, Kenji Ibukuro, Joao Lima, Kengo Tanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The new methods for diagnosing the ischemia with coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) as a noninvasive test have been investigated. To compare the relative plaque volume to quantitative CTA and quantitative coronary angiography (QCA) for detecting flow-limiting coronary artery stenoses. We studied 49 patients with 55 intermediate lesions (30–69% diameter stenosis) who underwent CTA, coronary angiography (CAG), and FFR. CTA and QCA measures included lesion length, percent diameter stenosis (%DS), minimal lumen diameter (MLD), target main vessel percent plaque volume (%PV), lesion %PV, target main vessel percent lumen volume (%LV), and lesion %LV. FFR ≤0.80 was considered diagnostic of a flow-limiting lesion. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) was used to determine the accuracy of detecting flow-limiting lesions. We also investigated the AUC of discrimination of flow-limiting lesion according to calcium score. Eighteen of 55 lesions (32.7%) had an FFR ≤0.80. Only vessel %PV differentiated between lesions with and without flow obstruction (67.6 vs. 62.7%, p = 0.018). The AUC for vessel %PV was greatest (0.76; 95% CI 0.61–0.87). The AUC for the discrimination of the flow-limiting lesions according to low calcium score (≤400) improved to 0.82 (95% CI 0.57–0.94). In intermediate coronary artery stenoses, vessel %PV is more accurate than conventional stenosis assessment for detecting flow-limiting lesions. In low calcium score, vessel %PV is more useful for diagnosis of ischemic heart disease compared with conventional quantitative measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 8 2017



  • Coronary artery disease
  • CT coronary angiography
  • Fractional flow reserve
  • Plaque volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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