Calcification subtraction software for coronary angiography
Visualization of the coronary lumen is improved by very advanced subtraction software. This represents a major step forward in diagnosing coronary artery disease in patients with severe calcium or stents for whom cardiac CT angiography was not recommended. This software was developed in close cooperation with the Iwate Medical University in Japan, leading hospitals in the USA and Europe and the European-based research centre, Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems. Severe coronary calcification influences the effectiveness of coronary CT angiography in ruling out coronary artery disease. Frequently these patients are referred for invasive angiography because of clinical suspicion of significant coronary artery disease. Stents placed in the coronary arteries can make visualization of the lumen within the stent difficult, hindering the ability to diagnose in-stent restenosis. SURESubtraction Coronary removes calcification and stents from the coronary arteries, therefore improving visualization of the coronary lumen. Blooming effects caused by calcification are dramatically reduced. An added benefit is that the subtraction can be obtained with a near-dose neutral scanning protocol. Coronary subtraction is performed by subtracting a routine calcium score dataset from a coronary CT angiography dataset. The calcium score scan is used as the non-contrast mask for subtraction. Atlas-based cardiac segmentation and sophisticated rigid and deformable registration algorithms enable accurate subtraction of the coronary arteries to become a reality, leading to improved visualization of the coronary lumen. The unique capabilities of the wide area detector Aquilion ONE series are a perfect platform for this new development. The 16cm z-axis coverage of the Aquilion ONE series allows imaging of the heart in just one rotation, ensuring the scan is performed at the same moment in time, making the registration and subtraction process as simple as possible.