A resource for the assessment of lung nodule size estimation methods: database of thoracic CT scans of an anthropomorphic phantom

Opt Express. 2010 Jul 5;18(14):15244-55. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.015244.


A number of interrelated factors can affect the precision and accuracy of lung nodule size estimation. To quantify the effect of these factors, we have been conducting phantom CT studies using an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom containing a vasculature insert to which synthetic nodules were inserted or attached. Ten repeat scans were acquired on different multi-detector scanners, using several sets of acquisition and reconstruction protocols and various nodule characteristics (size, shape, density, location). This study design enables both bias and variance analysis for the nodule size estimation task. The resulting database is in the process of becoming publicly available as a resource to facilitate the assessment of lung nodule size estimation methodologies and to enable comparisons between different methods regarding measurement error. This resource complements public databases of clinical data and will contribute towards the development of procedures that will maximize the utility of CT imaging for lung cancer screening and tumor therapy evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnostic imaging*
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*