How scan parameter choice affects deep learning-based coronary artery disease assessment from computed tomography

Denzinger F, Wels M, Breininger K, Taubmann O, Mühlberg A, Allmendinger T, Gülsün MA, Schöbinger M, André F, Buss SJ, Görich J, Sühling M, Maier A (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


Book Volume: 13

Pages Range: 2563-

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-29347-9


Recently, algorithms capable of assessing the severity of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in form of the Coronary Artery Disease-Reporting and Data System (CAD-RADS) grade from Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) scans using Deep Learning (DL) were proposed. Before considering to apply these algorithms in clinical practice, their robustness regarding different commonly used Computed Tomography (CT)-specific image formation parameters-including denoising strength, slab combination, and reconstruction kernel-needs to be evaluated. For this study, we reconstructed a data set of 500 patient CCTA scans under seven image formation parameter configurations. We select one default configuration and evaluate how varying individual parameters impacts the performance and stability of a typical algorithm for automated CAD assessment from CCTA. This algorithm consists of multiple preprocessing and a DL prediction step. We evaluate the influence of the parameter changes on the entire pipeline and additionally on only the DL step by propagating the centerline extraction results of the default configuration to all others. We consider the standard deviation of the CAD severity prediction grade difference between the default and variation configurations to assess the stability w.r.t. parameter changes. For the full pipeline we observe slight instability (± 0.226 CAD-RADS) for all variations. Predictions are more stable with centerlines propagated from the default to the variation configurations (± 0.122 CAD-RADS), especially for differing denoising strengths (± 0.046 CAD-RADS). However, stacking slabs with sharp boundaries instead of mixing slabs in overlapping regions (called true stack ± 0.313 CAD-RADS) and increasing the sharpness of the reconstruction kernel (± 0.150 CAD-RADS) leads to unstable predictions. Regarding the clinically relevant tasks of excluding CAD (called rule-out; AUC default 0.957, min 0.937) and excluding obstructive CAD (called hold-out; AUC default 0.971, min 0.964) the performance remains on a high level for all variations. Concluding, an influence of reconstruction parameters on the predictions is observed. Especially, scans reconstructed with the true stack parameter need to be treated with caution when using a DL-based method. Also, reconstruction kernels which are underrepresented in the training data increase the prediction uncertainty.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Denzinger, F., Wels, M., Breininger, K., Taubmann, O., Mühlberg, A., Allmendinger, T.,... Maier, A. (2023). How scan parameter choice affects deep learning-based coronary artery disease assessment from computed tomography. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 2563-.


Denzinger, Felix, et al. "How scan parameter choice affects deep learning-based coronary artery disease assessment from computed tomography." Scientific Reports 13.1 (2023): 2563-.

BibTeX: Download