Relative predictive value of lung cancer screening CT versus myocardial perfusion attenuation correction CT in the evaluation of coronary calcium

PLoS One. 2017 Apr 24;12(4):e0175678. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175678. eCollection 2017.


Coronary artery calcium scores (CACS) from lung cancer screening computed tomography (LCSCT) or myocardial perfusion attenuation correction computed tomography (ACCT) are not routinely performed or reported. CACS from LCSCT and ACCT have not been directly compared in the same patient population. We identified 66 patients who underwent both LCSCT (non-gated) and ECG-gated cardiac CT (CCT) within a 2-year span. Of this population, 40 subjects had also undergone ACCT. Using the Agatston method, CACS for 264 individual vessels from the LCSCT population and for 160 vessels from ACCT population were calculated and evaluated for agreement with ECG-gated CCT as the gold standard. Secondary analysis included a comparison of individual vessel contribution to variations in agreement and a comparison of total CACS from CCT, LCSCT, and ACCT for respective MACE prediction. CACS from LCSCT demonstrated a strong Pearson correlation, r = 0.9017 (0.876-0.9223), with good agreement when compared to CACS from CCT. CACS from ACCT demonstrated a significantly (P < 0.00001) weaker correlation, r = 0.5593 (0.4401-0.6592). On an individual vessel basis, CACS from all major vessels (LM, LAD, LCX, and RCA) contributed to the weaker correlation. For total vessel CACS, LCSCT demonstrated comparable area under the curve (AUC) for the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (LCSCT AUC = 0.8133 and CCT AUC = 0.8302, P = 0.691) for prediction of MACE. Although ACCT demonstrated a similar AUC (ACCT AUC = 0.7969, P = 0.662) for MACE prediction the cutoff value for elevated risk was extremely low. In conclusion, LCSCT outperformed ACCT at calcium scoring by providing better agreement and comparable risk assessment to CCT despite the absence of ECG-gating. It is therefore reasonable to use LCSCT images to derive and report Agatston-based CACS for cardiovascular risk assessment, whereas the use of ACCT images to report Agatston-based CACS is not currently practical.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Coronary Vessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Perfusion Imaging / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Vascular Calcification / diagnostic imaging


  • Calcium