Objectives: We evaluated the technical and clinical utility of visual 5-point coronary stenosis grading on coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA). Background: The binary approach used to assess coronary stenoses on CCTA does not adequately describe borderline obstructive lesions and limits full expression of clinically useful information. Methods: From 84 patients who underwent CCTA and invasive angiography, we identified 278 native coronary segments with ≥25% stenosis on CCTA after excluding all <25% stenotic, stented, and uninterpretable segments. Fifty <25% stenotic segments were randomly selected as controls. Segmental stenosis severity on CCTA was consensually graded using a 0 to 5 scale (grade 0 = none, grade 1 = 1% to 24%, grade 2 = 25% to 49%, grade 3 = 50% to 69%, grade 4 = 70% to 89%, grade 5 = 90% to 100%) by 2 readers, using visual inspection and computed tomography-based quantification (CTQCA). Invasive angiography-based stenosis quantification (IQCA) was performed for all segments, using the same 0 to 5 scale to score stenosis severity. Results: On CCTA, 185 (56%) segments had intermediate stenoses (grade 2 or grade 3). Stenosis severity by IQCA increased significantly with each step-up in CCTA grade (p < 0.001). CTQCA did not perform better than visual inspection. Visual CCTA stenosis grading differed from IQCA by >1 grade in only 4% of grade 2 to grade 5 segments (10 of 278; 2% of CCTA grade 2 segments, 4% of grade 3, 8% of grade 4, 2% of grade 5). Overall quantitative correlation was strong (r = 0.82) with high variability in agreement between CTQCA and IQCA for individual segments (95% of differences between 27.2% and 34.6%). Conclusions: With current CCTA technology, experienced readers should consider adopting a visually based, multitiered grading approach to evaluate coronary stenoses. A ≤49% lesion on CCTA can be considered virtually exclusive of ≥70% stenosis by invasive angiography.
- computed tomography
- coronary angiography
- coronary artery disease
- predictive value
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine