Variability of semiautomated lung nodule volumetry on ultralow-dose CT: comparison with nodule volumetry on standard-dose CT

J Digit Imaging. 2010 Feb;23(1):8-17. doi: 10.1007/s10278-008-9157-5. Epub 2008 Sep 5.


The study investigates the effect of a substantial dose reduction on the variability of lung nodule volume measurements by assessing and comparing nodule volumes using a dedicated semiautomated segmentation software on ultralow-dose computed tomography (ULD-CT) and standard-dose computed tomography (SD-CT) data. In 20 patients, thin-slice chest CT datasets (1 mm slice thickness; 20% reconstruction overlap) were acquired at ultralow-dose (120 kV, 5 mAs) and at standard-dose (120 kV, 75 mAs), respectively, and analyzed using the segmentation software OncoTREAT (MeVis, Bremen, Germany; version 1.3). Interobserver variability of volume measurements of 202 solid pulmonary nodules (mean diameter 11 mm, range 3.2-44.5 mm) was calculated for SD-CT and ULD-CT. With respect to interobserver variability, the 95% confidence interval for the relative differences in nodule volume in the intrascan analysis was measured with -9.7% to 8.3% (mean difference -0.7%) for SD-CT and with -12.6% to 12.4% (mean difference -0.2%) for ULD-CT. In the interscan analysis, the 95% confidence intervals for the differences in nodule volume ranged with -25.1% to -23.4% and 26.2% to 28.9% (mean difference 1.4% to 2.1%) dependent on the combination of readers and scans. Intrascan interobserver variability of volume measurements was comparable for ULD-CT and SD-CT data. The calculated variability of volume measurements in the interscan analysis was similar to the data reported in the literature for CT data acquired with equal radiation dose. Thus, the evaluated segmentation software provides nodule volumetry that appears to be independent of the dose level with which the CT source dataset is acquired.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Automation
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Software*
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*