Accuracy of electronic digital calipers compared with quantitative angiography in measuring coronary arterial diameter.
BACKGROUND Quantitative angiography is the accepted method for measuring coronary luminal diameter. Electronic digital calipers have been used to assess arterial diameters in vasomotor function studies and after interventional procedures. However, careful validation of calipers against quantitative angiography has not been described.
METHODS AND RESULTS We used digital calipers and quantitative angiography to measure 517 arterial diameters (88 nonstenotic segments) in 24 transplant patients undergoing vasomotor function studies with acetylcholine and nitroglycerin, 20 stenoses in 14 patients with coronary artery disease, and 15 stenoses in 15 patients before and after excimer laser-facilitated coronary angioplasty and at 6 months' follow-up. In nonstenotic arterial segments ranging in size from 0.6 to 3.5 mm, calipers overestimated diameters measured by quantitative angiography by 0.29 +/- 0.21 mm (mean +/- SD) (limits of agreement, -0.13 to 0.71 mm). However, when the vasomotor responses were expressed as percent diameter change, the two methods did not differ significantly (-1 +/- 10%; limits of agreement, -21% to 19%). In the 35 stenoses measured before intervention and 30 stenoses measured after intervention, calipers and quantitative angiography differed by 3 +/- 9% (limits of agreement, -15% to 21%) across a range of stenosis severity (11% to 80%). Repeat caliper measurements by the same observer of the percent diameter change in the transplant patients and the percent stenosis in the coronary artery disease patients led to standard deviations of the differences of 9.3% and 7.6%, respectively. Two different observers recorded percent diameter change and percent stenosis that differed with standard deviations of 9.6% and 7.8%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS Quantitative angiography and electronic digital calipers produce similar relative changes in arterial diameters and percent stenosis in a broad range of severities. Digital calipers thus are a rapid and convenient alternative to computerized quantitative angiography in certain research studies and clinical practice of assessing stenosis severity.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association