• Can image enhancement allow radiation dose to be reduced whilst maintaining the perceived diagnostic image quality required for coronary angiography?

      Joshi, A.; Gislason-Lee, Amber J.; Sivananthan, U.M.; Davies, A.G. (2017-03-03)
      Digital image processing used in modern cardiac interventional x-ray systems may have the potential to enhance image quality such that it allows for lower radiation doses. The aim of this research was to quantify the reduction in radiation dose facilitated by image processing alone for percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patient angiograms, without reducing the perceived image quality required to confidently make a diagnosis. Incremental amounts of image noise were added to five PCI patient angiograms, simulating the angiogram having been acquired at corresponding lower dose levels (by 10-89% dose reduction). Sixteen observers with relevant background and experience scored the image quality of these angiograms in three states - with no image processing and with two different modern image processing algorithms applied; these algorithms are used on state-of-the-art and previous generation cardiac interventional x-ray systems. Ordinal regression allowing for random effects and the delta method were used to quantify the dose reduction allowed for by the processing algorithms, for equivalent image quality scores. The dose reductions [with 95% confidence interval] from the state-of-the-art and previous generation image processing relative to no processing were 24.9% [18.8- 31.0%] and 15.6% [9.4-21.9%] respectively. The dose reduction enabled by the state-of-the-art image processing relative to previous generation processing was 10.3% [4.4-16.2%]. This demonstrates that statistically significant dose reduction can be facilitated with no loss in perceived image quality using modern image enhancement; the most recent processing algorithm was more effective in preserving image quality at lower doses.
    • Comprehensive assessment of patient image quality and radiation dose in latest generation cardiac x-ray equipment for percutaneous coronary interventions

      Gislason-Lee, Amber J.; Keeble, C.; Egleston, D.; Bexon, J.; Kenyelics, S.M.; Davies, A.G. (2017)
      This study aimed to determine whether a reduction in radiation dose was found for percutaneous coronary interventional (PCI) patients using a cardiac interventional x-ray system with state-of-the-art image enhancement and x-ray optimization, compared to the current generation x-ray system, and to determine the corresponding impact on clinical image quality. Patient procedure dose area product (DAP) and fluoroscopy duration of 131 PCI patient cases from each x-ray system were compared using a Wilcoxon test on median values. Significant reductions in patient dose (p ≪ 0.001) were found for the new system with no significant change in fluoroscopy duration (p ¼ 0.2); procedure DAP reduced by 64%, fluoroscopy DAP by 51%, and “cine” acquisition DAP by 76%. The image quality of 15 patient angiograms from each x-ray system (30 total) was scored by 75 clinical professionals on a continuous scale for the ability to determine the presence and severity of stenotic lesions; image quality scores were analyzed using a two-sample t -test. Image quality was reduced by 9% (p ≪ 0.01) for the new x-ray system. This demonstrates a substantial reduction in patient dose, from acquisition more than fluoroscopy imaging, with slightly reduced image quality, for the new x-ray system compared to the current generation system.