Measuring noncalcified coronary atherosclerotic plaque using voxel analysis with MDCT angiography: A pilot clinical study

Melvin E. Clouse, Adeel Sabir, Chun Shan Yam, Norihiko Yoshimura, Shezhang Lin, Francine Welty, Pedro Martinez-Clark, Vassilios Raptopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of our study was to evaluate a new method using voxel analysis for quantifying noncalcified plaque in coronary arteries using MDCT angiography (MDCTA) compared with luminal stenosis by catheter coronary arteriography. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Forty-one normal and eight abnormal arterial cross sections with noncalcified plaque selected from 40 patients undergoing MDCTA were analyzed for percentage of stenosis and plaque volume using a voxel analysis technique. RESULTS. Using voxel analysis, the normal arterial wall thickness was determined to be 0.8 ± 0.4 mm. Attenuation values (in Hounsfield units) for normal segments ranged between 30 and 175 H and for abnormal (plaque-containing) segments ranged from -49 to 139 H (p < 0.05). Plaque volume measurements varied from 0.90 to 156 mm3 with good interobserver correlation (R2 = 0.9671). Percentage of stenosis correlated with quantitative coronary arteriography measurement (R2 = 0.55). Voxel analysis underestimated the percentage of stenosis (Pearson's correlation coefficient, 1.2; p = 0.03). CONCLUSION. The study shows that the voxel analysis technique appears to be an accurate and reproducible method to measure arterial wall thickness, noncalcified plaque, and degree of arterial stenosis using density values measured in Hounsfield units. The technique may be useful on further correlative studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1553-1560
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiac imaging
  • Coronary artery wall
  • Coronary imaging
  • CT angiography
  • MDCT
  • Micro-CT
  • Voxel analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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