Compression of digital coronary angiograms does not affect visual or quantitative assessment of coronary artery stenosis severity

Vera H. Rigolin, Paul A. Robiolio, Laurence A. Spero, Brian P. Harrawood, Kenneth G. Morris, Donald F. Fortin, William A. Baker, Thomas M. Bashore, Jack T. Cusma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Digital coronary angiographic techniques are now widely used in many cardiac catheterization laboratories. However, the full potential of digital imaging technology remains to be achieved because of its enormous storage and exchange requirements. Compression of digital imaging data allows a reduction in the volume of data so that storage and transmission are more efficient and cost-effective. Three angiographers reviewed the original and compressed formats of 96 coronary angiographic sequences in a blinded fashion to assess coronary lesion severity. Compression was achieved using the Joint Photographic Exports Group (JPEG) standard, which resulted in a compression ratio of approximately 15:1. The original format was reviewed in a blinded fashion a second time to assess for intraobserver variability of similar formats. Lesion severity was graded in quartiles. Coronary stenosis >50% was considered 'significant.' In parallel, the reproducibility of quantitative coronary angiographic (QCA) measurements of coronary artery dimensions was also evaluated. For the visual assessment of lesion severity in the compressed versus original formats, κ=0.52, suggesting moderate agreement. When lesions were assessed as significant versus 'insignificant,' however, κ=0.88, suggesting excellent agreement. In the 2 separate readings of the original data formats, κ=0.44 for assessment of lesion severity by quartiles and κ=0.72 for lesions assessed as significant versus insignificant. Analysis of the compressed versus original data sets using QCA resulted in an excellent correlation for the measurement of lesion severity (r=0.99). The correlation was equally strong when the original format was analyzed sequentially (r=0.98). Lossy JPEG (15:1) compression is a valid means for reducing storage and exchange requirements of coronary angiographic data. The variability in assessing lesion severity between the original and compressed formats is comparable to the reported variability in visual assessment of lesion severity in sequential analysis of cine film.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-135
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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