Digital tomosynthesis of the chest for lung nodule detection: interim sensitivity results from an ongoing NIH-sponsored trial.
The authors report interim clinical results from an ongoing NIH-sponsored trial to evaluate digital chest tomosynthesis for improving detectability of small lung nodules. Twenty-one patients undergoing computed tomography (CT) to follow up lung nodules were consented and enrolled to receive an additional digital PA chest radiograph and digital tomosynthesis exam. Tomosynthesis was performed with a commercial CsI/a-Si flat-panel detector and a custom-built tube mover. Seventy-one images were acquired in 11 s, reconstructed with the matrix inversion tomosynthesis algorithm at 5-mm plane spacing, and then averaged (seven planes) to reduce noise and low-contrast artifacts. Total exposure for tomosynthesis imaging was equivalent to that of 11 digital PA radiographs (comparable to a typical screen-film lateral radiograph or two digital lateral radiographs). CT scans (1.25-mm section thickness) were reviewed to confirm presence and location of nodules. Three chest radiologists independently reviewed tomosynthesis images and PA chest radiographs to confirm visualization of nodules identified by CT. Nodules were scored as: definitely visible, uncertain, or not visible. 175 nodules (diameter range 3.5-25.5 mm) were seen by CT and grouped according to size: < 5, 5-10, and > 10 mm. When considering as true positives only nodules that were scored definitely visible, sensitivities for all nodules by tomosynthesis and PA radiography were 70% (+/- 5%) and 22% (+/- 4%), respectively, (p < 0.0001). Digital tomosynthesis showed significantly improved sensitivity of detection of known small lung nodules in all three size groups, when compared to PA chest radiography.
James, TD; McAdams, HP; Song, J-W; Li, CM; Godfrey, DJ; DeLong, DM; Paik, S-H; Martinez-Jimenez, S
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