Toward the automatic detection of coronary artery calcification in non-contrast computed tomography data

Gerd Brunner, Deepak R. Chittajallu, Uday Kurkure, Ioannis A. Kakadiaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Measurements related to coronary artery calcification (CAC) offer significant predictive value for coronary artery disease (CAD). In current medical practice CAC scoring is a labor-intensive task. The objective of this paper is the development and evaluation of a family of coronary artery region (CAR) models applied to the detection of CACs in coronary artery zones and sections. Thirty patients underwent non-contrast electron-beam computed tomography scanning. Coronary artery trajectory points as presented in the University of Houston heart-centered coordinate system were utilized to construct the CAR models which automatically detect coronary artery zones and sections. On a per-patient and per-zone basis the proposed CAR models detected CACs with a sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 85.56 (±15.80)%, 93.54 (±1.98)%, and 85.27 (±14.67)%, respectively while the corresponding values in the zones and segments based case were 77.94 (±7.78)%, 96.57 (±4.90)%, and 73.58 (±8.96)%, respectively. The results of this study suggest that the family of CAR models provide an effective method to detect different regions of the coronaries. Further, the CAR classifiers are able to detect CACs with a mean sensitivity and specificity of 86.33 and 93.78%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)829-838
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Detection of coronary artery calcification
  • Heart coordinate system
  • Non-contrast CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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