Interscan reproducibility of computer-aided epicardial and thoracic fat measurement from noncontrast cardiac CT

Ryo Nakazato, Haim Shmilovich, Balaji K. Tamarappoo, Victor Y. Cheng, Piotr J. Slomka, Daniel S. Berman, Damini Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epicardial fat volume (EFV) measured from noncontrast CT is associated with coronary atherosclerosis and increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. Interscan reproducibility of EFV quantification from noncontrast CT has not been reported. Objective: We evaluated the interscan (intrascanner and interscanner) reproducibility of EFV and thoracic fat volume (TFV) measurements from noncontrast CT. Methods: We studied 25 consecutive patients who were scanned twice with 4-slice multidetector CT (MDCT), with 120 kVp, 2.5-mm slice thickness (intrascanner) and 23 consecutive patients who were scanned with MDCT and electron beam CT (EBCT) with 3-mm slice thickness (interscanner). For each scan, EFV and TFV were measured from user-defined range of CT slices covering the heart by experienced imaging cardiologists. Voxels within -30 to -190 HU within the epicardial contours was quantified as EFV. TFV was quantified within the heart range automatically. Repeatability coefficient (RC), defined as 1.96 × SD of the differences between pairs of repeated measures, was determined. Results: Correlations for interscan measurements of EFV and TFV were high for both intrascanner (MDCT-MDCT) and interscanner (EBCT-MDCT) data (correlation coefficient ≥0.98). RC values were lowest (4.3% for EFV and 5.4% for TFV) for intrascanner same-observer measurement. For intrascanner cross-observer measurement, RC values were 10.7% for EFV and 9.0% for TFV. For interscanner data, RC values ranged from 6.8% to 8.2%. Conclusion: Epicardial and thoracic fat measurements with the use of either MDCT or EBCT are highly reproducible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron beam CT, EBCT
  • Epicardial fat
  • Multidetector CT, MDCT
  • Noncontrast CT
  • Reproducibility
  • Thoracic fat


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