Introduction: In the current paper, the "carotid artery calcium score" method is presented with the target to offer a metric method to quantify the amount of calcification in the carotid artery. Model and definition: The Volume of Interest (VOI) should be extracted and those voxels, with a Hounsfield Unit (HU) value ≥130, should be considered. The total weight value is determined by calculating the sum of the HU attenuation values of all voxels with values ≥130 HU. This value should be multiplied by the conversion factor ("or voxel size") and divided by a weighting factor, the attenuation threshold to consider a voxel as calcified (and therefore 130 HU): this equation determines the Carotid Artery Calcium Score (CACS). Results: In order to provide the demonstration of the potential feasibility of the model, the CACS was calculated in 131 subjects (94 males; mean age 72.7 years) for 235 carotid arteries (in 27 subjects, unilateral plaque was present) considered. The CACS value ranged from 0.67 to 11716. A statistically significant correlation was found (rho value = 0.663, p value = .0001) between the CACS in the right and left carotid plaques. Moreover, a statistically significant correlation between the age and the total CACS was present (rho value = 0.244, p value = .005), whereas no statistically significant difference was found in the distribution of CACS by gender (p = .148). The CACS was also tested at baseline and after contrast and no statistically significant difference was found. Conclusion: In conclusion, this method is of easy application, and it weights at the same time the volume and the degree of calcification in a unique parameter. This method needs to be tested to verify its potential utility, similar to the coronary artery calcium score, for the risk stratification of the occurrence of cerebrovascular events of the anterior circulation. Further studies using this new diagnostic tool to determine the prognostic value of carotid calcium quantification are needed.

Carotid artery calcium score: Definition, classification, application, and limits

Saba, Luca
Primo
;
Scicolone, Roberta;Cau, Riccardo;Balestrieri, Antonella;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: In the current paper, the "carotid artery calcium score" method is presented with the target to offer a metric method to quantify the amount of calcification in the carotid artery. Model and definition: The Volume of Interest (VOI) should be extracted and those voxels, with a Hounsfield Unit (HU) value ≥130, should be considered. The total weight value is determined by calculating the sum of the HU attenuation values of all voxels with values ≥130 HU. This value should be multiplied by the conversion factor ("or voxel size") and divided by a weighting factor, the attenuation threshold to consider a voxel as calcified (and therefore 130 HU): this equation determines the Carotid Artery Calcium Score (CACS). Results: In order to provide the demonstration of the potential feasibility of the model, the CACS was calculated in 131 subjects (94 males; mean age 72.7 years) for 235 carotid arteries (in 27 subjects, unilateral plaque was present) considered. The CACS value ranged from 0.67 to 11716. A statistically significant correlation was found (rho value = 0.663, p value = .0001) between the CACS in the right and left carotid plaques. Moreover, a statistically significant correlation between the age and the total CACS was present (rho value = 0.244, p value = .005), whereas no statistically significant difference was found in the distribution of CACS by gender (p = .148). The CACS was also tested at baseline and after contrast and no statistically significant difference was found. Conclusion: In conclusion, this method is of easy application, and it weights at the same time the volume and the degree of calcification in a unique parameter. This method needs to be tested to verify its potential utility, similar to the coronary artery calcium score, for the risk stratification of the occurrence of cerebrovascular events of the anterior circulation. Further studies using this new diagnostic tool to determine the prognostic value of carotid calcium quantification are needed.
2024
CTA; Calcium; carotid; plaque.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/397883
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