Objectives: Our goal was to evaluate the efficacy of a fully automated method for assessing the image quality (IQ) of coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Methods: The machine learning method was trained using 75 CCTA studies by mapping features (noise, contrast, misregistration scores, and un-interpretability index) to an IQ score based on manual ground truth data. The automated method was validated on a set of 50 CCTA studies and subsequently tested on a new set of 172 CCTA studies against visual IQ scores on a 5-point Likert scale. Results: The area under the curve in the validation set was 0.96. In the 172 CCTA studies, our method yielded a Cohen’s kappa statistic for the agreement between automated and visual IQ assessment of 0.67 (p < 0.01). In the group where good to excellent (n = 163), fair (n = 6), and poor visual IQ scores (n = 3) were graded, 155, 5, and 2 of the patients received an automated IQ score > 50 %, respectively. Conclusion: Fully automated assessment of the IQ of CCTA data sets by machine learning was reproducible and provided similar results compared with visual analysis within the limits of inter-operator variability. Key points: • The proposed method enables automated and reproducible image quality assessment. • Machine learning and visual assessments yielded comparable estimates of image quality. • Automated assessment potentially allows for more standardised image quality. • Image quality assessment enables standardization of clinical trial results across different datasets.
- Cardiac imaging techniques
- Computed tomography angiography
- Coronary vessels
- Image enhancement
- Machine learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging