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In Computerized medical imaging and graphics : the official journal of the Computerized Medical Imaging Society

Invasive coronary angiography (ICA) is the gold standard in Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) imaging. Detection of the end-diastolic frame (EDF) and, in general, cardiac phase detection on each temporal frame of a coronary angiography acquisition is of significant importance for the anatomical and non-invasive functional assessment of CAD. This task is generally performed via manual frame selection or semi-automated selection based on simultaneously acquired ECG signals - thus introducing the requirement of simultaneous ECG recordings. In this paper, we evaluate the performance of a purely image based workflow relying on deep neural networks for fully automated cardiac phase and EDF detection on coronary angiographies. A first deep neural network (DNN), trained to detect coronary arteries, is employed to preselect a subset of frames in which coronary arteries are well visible. A second DNN predicts cardiac phase labels for each frame. Only in the training and evaluation phases for the second DNN, ECG signals are used to provide ground truth labels for each angiographic frame. The networks were trained on 56,655 coronary angiographies from 6820 patients and evaluated on 20,780 coronary angiographies from 6261 patients. No exclusion criteria related to patient state (stable or acute CAD), previous interventions (PCI or CABG), or pathology were formulated. Cardiac phase detection had an accuracy of 98.8 %, a sensitivity of 99.3 % and a specificity of 97.6 % on the evaluation set. EDF prediction had a precision of 98.4 % and a recall of 97.9 %. Several sub-group analyses were performed, indicating that the cardiac phase detection performance is largely independent from acquisition angles, the heart rate of the patient, and the angiographic view (LCA / RCA). The average execution time of cardiac phase detection for one angiographic series was on average less than five seconds on a standard workstation. We conclude that the proposed image based workflow potentially obviates the need for manual frame selection and ECG acquisition, representing a relevant step towards automated CAD assessment.

Ciusdel Costin, Turcea Alexandru, Puiu Andrei, Itu Lucian, Calmac Lucian, Weiss Emma, Margineanu Cornelia, Badila Elisabeta, Berger Martin, Redel Thomas, Passerini Tiziano, Gulsun Mehmet, Sharma Puneet


Cardiac phase, Coronary angiography, Coronary artery disease, Deep learning, End-diastolic frame