Accuracy of lung nodule volumetry in low-dose CT with iterative reconstruction: an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom study

K W Doo, E-Y Kang, H S Yong, O H Woo, K Y Lee, Y-W Oh
British Journal of Radiology 2014, 87 (1041): 20130644

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess accuracy of lung nodule volumetry in low-dose CT with application of iterative reconstruction (IR) according to nodule size, nodule density and CT tube currents, using artificial lung nodules within an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom.

METHODS: Eight artificial nodules (four diameters: 5, 8, 10 and 12 mm; two CT densities: -630 HU that represents ground-glass nodule and +100 HU that represents solid nodule) were randomly placed inside a thoracic phantom. Scans were performed with tube current-time product to 10, 20, 30 and 50 mAs. Images were reconstructed with IR and filtered back projection (FBP). We compared volume estimates to a reference standard and calculated the absolute percentage error (APE).

RESULTS: The APE of all nodules was significantly lower when IR was used than with FBP (7.5 ± 4.7% compared with 9.0 ±6.9%; p < 0.001). The effect of IR was more pronounced for smaller nodules (p < 0.001). IR showed a significantly lower APE than FBP in ground-glass nodules (p < 0.0001), and the difference was more pronounced at the lowest tube current (11.8 ± 5.9% compared with 21.3 ± 6.1%; p < 0.0001). The effect of IR was most pronounced for ground-glass nodules in the lowest CT tube current.

CONCLUSION: Lung nodule volumetry in low-dose CT by application of IR showed reliable accuracy in a phantom study. Lung nodule volumetry can be reliably applicable to all lung nodules including small, ground-glass nodules even in ultra-low-dose CT with application of IR.

ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: IR significantly improved the accuracy of lung nodule volumetry compared with FBP particularly for ground-glass (-630 HU) nodules. Volumetry in low-dose CT can be utilized in patient with lung nodule work-up, and IR has benefit for small, ground-glass lung nodules in low-dose CT.

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