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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 18, 2024  1 month, 6 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes ago

AI In Medicine: Scientists Utilize Artificial Intelligence In Coronary CT Angiography For Accurate Diagnosis And Development Of Precision Medicine Protocols

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AI In Medicine: Scientists Utilize Artificial Intelligence In Coronary CT Angiography For Accurate Diagnosis And Development Of Precision Medicine Protocols
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 18, 2024  1 month, 6 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes ago
AI In Medicine: In the dynamic landscape of scientific and technological progress, artificial intelligence (AI) stands as a transformative force, reshaping the boundaries of possibility. The convergence of machine learning, deep learning, and AI technologies has given rise to a new era of precision diagnostics, particularly evident in the realm of cardiovascular care. Coronary CT angiography (CCTA), a non-invasive technique recommended for clinical screening of coronary heart disease, has emerged as a focal point for AI applications. This AI In Medicine news report explores the multifaceted impact of AI in revolutionizing CCTA, from optimizing image quality to automating intricate assessments, with a keen focus on recent advancements and future prospects.


AI Can Be Used In In Coronary CT Angiography For Accurate Diagnosis

AI in Medicine - A Driving Force
The trajectory of AI in medicine marks a paradigm shift, ushering in a new era of diagnostic precision and personalized treatment strategies. Cardiovascular imaging, in particular, has witnessed the integration of AI-based approaches, leveraging machine learning and deep learning algorithms to optimize workflow, enhance image quality, and improve the accuracy of medical diagnoses. This intersection of technology and medicine holds promise across various applications, influencing clinical decision-making, risk stratification, and prognosis in cardiovascular diseases.
 
Reviewing AI Techniques in Cardiovascular CT
A comprehensive review, published in the esteemed journal Medicine Plus by Professor Dr Long-Jiang Zhang from the Affiliated Hospital of Medical School, Nanjing University-China and Professor Dr Christian Tesche from the Medical University of South Carolina-USA serves as a cornerstone in understanding the standard AI techniques in cardiovascular computed tomography (CT). The systematic exploration of AI's role in CCTA, alongside the current research and application progress, provides a roadmap for future advancements in cardiovascular care.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2950347723000014
 
Optimizing Image Quality - A Leap Forward
Excellent image quality is imperative for the accurate evaluation of coronary artery disease (CAD) on CCTA. The principle of "As low as reasonably achievable (ALARA)" often leads to low-dose protocols, introducing challenges such as increased image noise. Classical iterative reconstruction (IR) techniques have been a staple in reducing noise, but their computational complexity necessitates significant resources and time. Enter AI-based algorithms, a revolutionary alternative to IR. Algorithms, such as generative adversarial networks (GAN), have shown promise in de-noising low-dose cardiac CT images rapidly. For instance, Wolterink et al. successfully applied GANs to transform low-dose non-contrast cardiac CT images into routine-dose images within 10 seco nds per scan, showcasing the feasibility of AI in noise reduction.
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7934380
 
Automated Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring - Redefining Risk Stratification
Coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS) is a pivotal tool for assessing calcified plaque burden and predicting major adverse cardiac events (MACE). Traditionally, CACS is calculated semi-automatically, a time-consuming process that requires dedicated software. AI, however, introduces automation into this realm.
 
Zeleznik et al. developed a DL model for automated segmentation of calcium in the heart and coronary arteries, demonstrating good agreement with expert readers and robust repeatability. The potential clinical impact of automated CACS algorithms in patient management is yet to be fully evaluated, but the results show promise in streamlining risk stratification.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-20966-2
 
Accurate Assessment of Coronary Artery Stenosis - Precision in Diagnosis
Accurate evaluation of coronary artery stenosis is critical for guiding downstream treatment decisions. However, even with independent readers, inter-observer variability remains a challenge. AI-based applications are emerging as a solution to enhance accuracy and repeatability in identifying obstructive CAD.
 
Cloud-based software, as developed by Choi et al., has exhibited high diagnostic performance in detecting stenosis, offering a glimpse into a future where AI plays a central role in diagnostic accuracy and efficiency.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1934592521000812
 
Quantification of Atherosclerotic Plaque - Efficiency Unleashed
CCTA extends beyond assessing coronary artery stenosis; it provides insights into plaque composition and burden throughout the coronary tree. AI-driven algorithms, such as those developed by Lin et al., have significantly reduced the manual adjustment and time required for quantitative plaque analysis. This automation not only improves efficiency but also holds potential in increasing the prognostic value of plaque analysis in patients with poor outcomes.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/article/PIIS2589-7500(22)00022-X/fulltext
 
Characterizing Vulnerable Plaques - Precision Risk Stratification
Identification of vulnerable plaques is crucial for personalized risk stratification. AI introduces radiomics, an intersection of imaging and AI, as a promising approach to automatically identify high-risk plaque features. Studies by Kolossvary et al. underscore the superiority of CCTA-based radiomics in identifying vulnerable plaques, hinting at a future where AI enhances precision in risk assessment, potentially replacing invasive imaging methods.
https://academic.oup.com/ehjcimaging/article/20/11/1250/5369799
 
https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/ATVBAHA.123.319332
 
Exploring Perivascular Adipose Tissue-Unraveling Cardiovascular Dynamics
Perivascular adipose tissue (PCAT) surrounding coronary arteries influences atherosclerosis through complex interactions. AI-driven radiomics, as demonstrated by Oikonomou et al., introduces the concept of a fat radiomics profile (FRP) based on CCTA to characterize fibrosis and microvascular remodeling.
https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/40/43/3529/5554432
 
These innovative approaches hold promise in predicting future cardiovascular events, adding a new layer of understanding to cardiovascular dynamics.
 
Fully Automated Measurement of Epicardial Adipose Tissue - A Window into Cardio-Metabolic Dysfunction
Epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) has emerged as a potential marker associated with cardiometabolic dysfunction and adverse outcomes. AI, in the form of DL models, automates the quantification of EAT volume on CCTA. Li et al. and West et al. showcase the accuracy and prognostic value of DL-based automated EAT volume assessments. Despite promising results, further studies are needed to establish standardized ranges and cut-off values for clinical application.
https://aapm.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mp.15012
 
https://www.jacc.org/doi/abs/10.1016/j.jcmg.2022.11.018
 
Machine Learning and Deep Learning-Based CT-FFR - Functional Insights with Precision
Functional assessment of coronary artery stenosis is paramount for clinical management. AI-based CT-FFR integrates advanced computational fluid dynamics with ML and DL algorithms. On-site CT-FFR software has been developed, offering automatic and accurate functional calculation of coronary stenosis. With a remarkable accuracy of up to 85%, this AI-driven approach provides clinicians with comprehensive insights, bridging the gap between anatomical severity and physiological effects.
 
Challenges and Future Directions - Navigating the Horizon
While AI has undeniably propelled cardiovascular care into a new era, challenges persist. The dependency on Hounsfield units, standardizing imaging criteria, and overcoming the limitations of spatial resolution are ongoing endeavors. The future beckons the development of integrated software, combining automated assessments, identification of "high-risk plaque," and accurate CT-FFR calculations. Collaboration between cardiovascular imaging professionals and AI experts is essential for overcoming challenges and unlocking the full potential of AI in advancing human health.
 
Conclusion - Shaping the Future of Cardiovascular Diagnostics
The integration of artificial intelligence into coronary CT angiography represents a watershed moment in cardiovascular care. From the optimization of image quality to the automation of intricate assessments, AI serves as a catalyst for enhanced precision, efficiency, and prognostic value. As research continues to unravel the full potential of AI in medicine, the collaboration between healthcare professionals and AI experts becomes paramount. This synergy promises innovative solutions, ultimately contributing to improved patient outcomes, reshaping the landscape of cardiovascular diagnostics and care. The journey has just begun, and the marriage of AI and cardiovascular medicine holds the promise of a healthier future for individuals worldwide.
 
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