Background: Non-invasive identification and characterization of mildly stenotic atherosclerotic lesions is an increasingly important focus of coronary imaging.
Design: We examined the accuracy of multi (16)-slice computed tomography (MSCT) for imaging of these lesions in comparison with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS).
Materials: Mildly stenotic segments of the left coronary artery were identified by coronary angiography and analyzed using IVUS and contrast-enhanced MSCT. Independent reviewers evaluated the accuracy of MSCT for presence, composition and distribution of atherosclerotic plaque and remodeling response in comparison to IVUS using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) data analysis.
Results: Of 46 segments in 14 patients, diagnostic characterization by MSCT was possible in 37 (80.4%) segments. In these segments the accuracy of MSCT for identifying plaque presence, calcification, distribution and positive remodeling was consistently greater than 0.90 (reader 1) and 0.87 (reader 2).
Conclusion: State-of-the-art MSCT can accurately identify mildly stenotic coronary atherosclerosis and provide an assessment of morphology and remodeling response.