Objectives: To compare texture analysis (TA) with subjective visual diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) in cardiac computed tomography (CT) and to evaluate the impact of iterative reconstruction (IR).
Methods: Ten patients (4 women, mean age 68 ± 11 years) with confirmed chronic MI and 20 controls (8 women, mean age 52 ± 11 years) with no cardiac abnormality underwent contrast-enhanced cardiac CT with the same protocol. Images were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) and with advanced modeled IR at strength levels 3-5. Subjective diagnosis of MI was made by three independent, blinded readers with different experience levels. Classification of MI was performed using machine learning-based decision tree models for the entire data set and after splitting into training and test data to avoid overfitting.
Results: Subjective visual analysis for diagnosis of MI showed excellent intrareader (kappa: 0.93) but poor interreader agreement (kappa: 0.3), with variable performance at different image reconstructions. TA showed high performance for all image reconstructions (correct classifications: 94%-97%, areas under the curve: 0.94-0.99). After splitting into training and test data, overall lower performances were observed, with best results for IR at level 5 (correct classifications: 73%, area under the curve: 0.65).
Conclusions: As compared with subjective, nonreliable visual analysis of inexperienced readers, TA enables objective and reproducible diagnosis of chronic MI in cardiac CT with higher accuracy. IR has a considerable impact on both subjective and objective image analysis.
Keywords: Computed tomography; Iterative reconstruction; Machine learning; Myocardial infarction; Texture analysis.
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