Towards assessing the diagnostic influence of dose reduction in pediatric CT: A study based on simulated lung nodules
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of reduced tube current, as a surrogate for radiation dose, on lung nodule detection in pediatric chest multi-detector CT (MDCT). Normal chest MDCT images of 13 patients aged 1 to 7 years old were used as templates for this study. The original tube currents were between 70 mA and 180 mA. Using proprietary noise addition software, noise was added to the images to create 13 cases at the lowest common mA (i.e. 70 mA), 13 cases at 35 mA (50% reduction), and 13 cases at 17.5 mA (75% reduction). Three copies of each case were made for a total of 117 series for simulated nodule insertion. A technique for three-dimensional simulation of small lung nodules was developed, validated through an observer study, and used to add nodules to the series. Care was taken to ensure that each of three lung zones (upper, middle, lower) contained 0 or 1 nodule. The series were randomized and the presence of a nodule in each lung zone was rated independently and blindly by three pediatric radiologists on a continuous scale between 0 (definitely absent) and 100 (definitely present). Receiver operating characteristic analysis of the data showed no general significant difference in diagnostic accuracy between the reduced mA values and 70 mA, suggesting a potential for dose reduction with preserved diagnostic quality. To our knowledge, this study is the first controlled, systematic, and task-specific assessment of the influence of dose reduction in pediatric chest CT.
Xiang, L; Samei, E; DeLong, DM; Jones, RP; Colsher, JG; Frush, DP
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