System for Segmentation and Selective Visualization of the Coronary Artery Tree for Evaluation of Stenosis, Soft Plaque and Calcification in Cardiac CTA

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Recent advances in multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) technology provide opportunities for non-invasive high-resolution diagnostic imaging of the coronary arteries. The amount of image data generated in a coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) study typically requires that the analysis be done using a 3D workstation. Manual interpretation of the data is normally feasible; however, semi-automated and automated tools for coronary artery analysis can significantly shorten the analysis time. In this article, we discuss the coronary artery analysis package available on the Vitrea 2 (Vital Images, Inc.) workstation. The software is intended to expedite the review workflow by providing semi-automated interactive tools for tracking vessels, automated curved and oblique reformations, and advanced 3D visualization. Early results from clinical evaluation indicate that using the automated tools can decrease the reading time by approximately a factor of 2.

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