Validation of a semi-automatic software for optical coherence tomography - analysis in heart transplanted patients

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Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an intravascular imaging modality enabling detailed evaluation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) after heart transplantation (HTx). However, its clinical application remains hampered by time-consuming manual quantitative analysis. We aimed to validate a semi-automated quantitative OCT analysis software (Iowa Coronary Wall Analyzer, ICWA-OCT) to improve OCT-analysis in HTx patients. 23 patients underwent OCT evaluation of all three major coronary arteries at 3 months (3M) and 12 months (12M) after HTx. We analyzed OCT recordings using the semiautomatic software and compared results with measurements from a validated manual software. For semi-automated analysis, 31,228 frames from 114 vessels were available. The validation was based on a subset of 4287 matched frames. We applied mixed model statistics to accommodate the multilevel data structure with method as a fixed effect. Lumen (minimum, mean, maximum) and media (mean, maximum) metrics showed no significant differences. Mean and maximum intima area were underestimated by the semi-automated method (β-methodmean = - 0.289 mm2, p < 0.01; β-methodmax = - 0.695 mm2, p < 0.01). Bland-Altman analyses showed increasing semi-automatic underestimation of intima measurements with increasing intimal extent. Comparing 3M to 12M progression between methods, mean intimal area showed minor underestimation (β-methodmean = - 1.03 mm2, p = 0.04). Lumen and media metrics showed excellent agreement between the manual and semi-automated method. Intima metrics and progressions from 3M to 12M were slightly underestimated by the semi-automated OCT software with unknown clinical relevance. The semi-automated software has the future potential to provide robust and time-saving evaluation of CAV progression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe international journal of cardiovascular imaging
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2022

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© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

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