Real-time spatial compound imaging improves reproducibility in the evaluation of atherosclerotic carotid plaques
Tissue and Organ Procurement
Compound imaging has the ability of reducing speckle and clutter artifacts demonstrated in in vitro studies compared to conventional, single-angle imaging. We investigated intra- and interobserver agreement of 38 outlines of carotid artery plaque images acquired by these techniques, by measuring the overlapping area after repeated outlines. In general, both techniques showed good agreement. When considering the images with poorest overlap, compound imaging had a significant advantage over conventional imaging regarding both intra- and interobserver agreement. The interobserver variation for the overlapping area after two outlines was 20% for conventional technique and 10% for compound. The interobserver variation of the gray scale median value (GSM) for conventional technique ranged from -32 to +20 and from -6 to +6 for compound. Likewise, the coefficient of repeatability for the GSM value was 13 for conventional imaging and three for compound imaging, and interobserver variation for the GSM value for the overlapping area was 34% and 9% for conventional and compound technique. In conclusion, compound imaging improves intra- and interobserver agreement and reduces interobserver variation in the GSM value in a clinical setting.