Purpose: To investigate differences in volumetric measurement of pulmonary nodules caused by changing the reconstruction parameters for multi-detector row CT.
Materials and methods: Thirty-nine pulmonary nodules less than 2 cm in diameter were examined by multi-slice CT. All nodules were solid, and located in the peripheral part of the lungs. The resultant 48 parameters images were reconstructed by changing slice thickness (1.25, 2.5, 3.75, or 5 mm), field of view (FOV: 10, 20, or 30 cm), algorithm (high-spatial frequency algorithm or low-spatial frequency algorithm) and reconstruction interval (reconstruction with 50% overlapping of the reconstructed slices or non-overlapping reconstruction). Volumetric measurements were calculated using commercially available software. The differences between nodule volumes were analyzed by the Kruskal-Wallis test and the Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks test.
Results: The diameter of the nodules was 8.7+/-2.7 mm on average, ranging from 4.3 to 16.4mm. Pulmonary nodule volume did not change significantly with changes in slice thickness or FOV (p>0.05), but was significantly larger with the high-spatial frequency algorithm than the low-spatial frequency algorithm (p<0.05), except for one reconstruction parameter. The volumes determined by non-overlapping reconstruction were significantly larger than those of overlapping reconstruction (p<0.05), except for a 1.25 mm thickness with 10 cm FOV with the high-spatial frequency algorithm, and 5mm thickness. The maximum difference in measured volume was 16% on average between the 1.25 mm slice thickness/10 cm FOV/high-spatial frequency algorithm parameters and overlapping reconstruction.
Conclusion: Volumetric measurements of pulmonary nodules differ with changes in the reconstruction parameters, with a tendency toward larger volumes in high-spatial frequency algorithm and non-overlapping reconstruction compared to the low-spatial frequency algorithm and overlapping reconstruction.