Decreased detection of hypovascular liver tumors with MDCT in obese patients: a phantom study.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to assess the impact of large patient size on the detection of hypovascular liver tumors with MDCT and the effect of a noise filter on image quality and lesion detection in obese patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A liver phantom with 45 hypovascular tumors (diameters of 5, 10, and 15 mm) was placed into two water containers mimicking intermediate and large patients. The containers were scanned with a 64-MDCT scanner. The CT dataset from the large phantom was postprocessed using a noise filter. The image noise was measured and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of the tumors was calculated. Tumor detection was independently performed by three radiologists in a blinded fashion. RESULTS: The application of the noise filter in the large phantom yielded a reduction of image noise by 42% (p < 0.0001). The CNR values of the tumors in the nonfiltered and filtered large phantom were lower than that in the intermediate phantom (p < 0.05). In the non-filtered and filtered large phantom, 25% and 19% fewer tumors, respectively, were detected on average compared with the intermediate phantom (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: The risk of missing hypovascular liver tumors with CT is substantially increased in large patients. A noise filter improves image quality in obese patients.
Schindera, ST; Torrente, JC; Ruder, TD; Hoppe, H; Marin, D; Nelson, RC; Szucs-Farkas, Z
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