Calcium Scoring Using Parallel Tomosynthesis

Tech ID: 29351 / UC Case 2017-789-0

Summary

Researchers at UCLA in the Department of Radiology have developed a cheaper and safer way to measure coronary calcium levels to predict heart disease.

Background

Screening for coronary calcium has shown improved diagnostic performance over typical cardiovascular measurements, such as cholesterol and blood pressure. An above-median calcium score is associated with a five-fold increase in risk of heart disease. Currently, hospitals use CT scans to measure and detect coronary calcium. However, this option has not reached mainstream practice due to its high radiation dosage, along with its high cost. Tomosynthesis provides an alternative to CT for creating 3-D images. It creates a 3-D reconstruction from a series of 2-D x-rays, but is able to do it with fewer images than conventional CT, thus decreasing radiation exposure. This methodology is a cheaper and safer way to measure coronary calcium that could provide a more accurate prediction of a patient’s heart disease risk.

Innovation

Researchers at UCLA in the Department of Radiology have developed a cheaper and safer way to measure coronary calcium levels, a predictor of heart disease. Their invention combines a 3-D image of the heart, generated via tomosynthesis, along with a unique algorithm to detect coronary calcium deposits. This technology has the capability to detect moderate calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. The advantages this invention has over CT scans include cheaper costs and decreased exposure to radiation. This innovation carries a tenth of the cost to build compared to CT scanners. The radiation exposure from this new technology can be 10-200 times less than CT scanners.

Applications

  • Diagnosing and predicting heart disease
  • Imaging other calcium deposits in soft and flexible tissue (kidney stones)

Advantages

  • Lower radiation exposure than CT scanner 
  • Cheaper than a CT scanner 
  • More applicable to general population as part of a checkup

Patent Status

Patent Pending

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Inventors

  • Hsieh, Scott

Other Information

Keywords

Cardiovascular, heart, coronary, calcium, heart disease, diagnostics, screening, x-ray, CT, imaging, calcium scoring, tomosynthesis, medical devices

Categorized As

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