Objective: We wanted to investigate the usefulness of a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) system in assisting radiologists to diagnosis malignant solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs), as compared with diagnosing SPNs with using direct personal drawing.
Materials and methods: Forty patients with SPNs were analyzed. After the pre-contrast scan was performed, an additional ten series of post-contrast images were obtained at 20-second intervals. Two investigators measured the attenuation values of the SPNs: a radiologist who drew the regions of interest (ROIs), and a technician who used a CAD system. The Bland and Altman plots were used to compare the net enhancement between a CAD system and direct personal drawing. The diagnostic characteristics of the malignant SPNs were calculated by considering the CAD and direct personal drawing and with using Fisher's exact test.
Results: On the Bland and Altman plot, the net enhancement difference between the CAD system and direct personal drawing was not significant (within +/- 2 standard deriation). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and accuracy of diagnosing malignant SPNs using CAD was 92%, 85%, 75%, 96% and 88%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and accuracy of diagnosing malignant SPNs using direct drawing was 92%, 89%, 79%, 92% and 88%, respectively.
Conclusion: The CAD system was a useful tool for diagnosing malignant SPNs.