City Research Online

Non-calcified plaque-based coronary stenosis grading in contrast enhanced CT

Jawaid, M. M., Narejo, S., Riaz, F. , Reyes-Aldasoro, C. C. ORCID: 0000-0002-9466-2018, Slabaugh, G. & Brown, J. (2024). Non-calcified plaque-based coronary stenosis grading in contrast enhanced CT. Medical Engineering & Physics, 129, article number 104182. doi: 10.1016/j.medengphy.2024.104182


The high mortality rate associated with coronary heart disease has led to state-of-the-art non-invasive methods for cardiac diagnosis including computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. However, stenosis computation and clinical assessment of non-calcified plaques has been very challenging due to their ambiguous intensity response in CT i.e. a significant overlap with surrounding muscle tissues and blood. Accordingly, this research presents an approach for computation of coronary stenosis by investigating cross-sectional lumen behaviour along the length of 3D coronary segments.

Non-calcified plaques are characterized by comparatively lower-intensity values with respect to the surrounding. Accordingly, segment-wise orthogonal volume was reconstructed in 3D space using the segmented coronary tree. Subsequently, the cross sectional volumetric data was investigated using proposed CNN-based plaque quantification model and subsequent stenosis grading in clinical context was performed. In the last step, plaque-affected orthogonal volume was further investigated by comparing vessel-wall thickness and lumen area obstruction w.r.t. expert-based annotations to validate the stenosis grading performance of model.

The experimental data consists of clinical CT images obtained from the Rotterdam CT repository leading to 600 coronary segments and subsequent 15786 cross-sectional images. According to the results, the proposed method quantified coronary vessel stenosis i.e. severity of the non-calcified plaque with an overall accuracy of 83%. Moreover, for individual grading, the proposed model show promising results with accuracy equal to 86%, 90% and 79% respectively for severe, moderate and mild stenosis. The stenosis grading performance of the proposed model was further validated by performing lumen-area versus wall-thickness analysis as per annotations of manual experts. The statistical results for lumen area analysis precisely correlates with the quantification performance of the model with a mean deviation of 5% only.

The overall results demonstrates capability of the proposed model to grade the vessel stenosis with reasonable accuracy and precision equivalent to human experts.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IPEM. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher Keywords: Coronary stenosis, CNN, Non-calcified plaque, Plaque quantification, Inter-observer variations
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S1350453324000833-main.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login