Low-dose high-resolution CT of lung parenchyma

Radiology. 1991 Aug;180(2):413-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.180.2.2068303.


To evaluate the efficacy of low-dose high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) in the assessment of lung parenchyma, three observers reviewed the scans of 31 patients. The 1.5-mm-collimation, 2-second, 120-kVp scans were obtained at 20 and 200 mA at selected identical levels in the chest. The observers evaluated the visualization of normal pulmonary anatomy, various parenchymal abnormalities and their distribution, and artifacts. The low-dose and conventional scans were equivalent in the evaluation of vessels, lobar and segmental bronchi, and anatomy of secondary pulmonary lobules, and in characterizing the extent and distribution of reticulation, honeycomb cysts, and thickened interlobular septa. The low-dose technique failed to demonstrate ground-glass opacity in two of 10 cases (20%) and emphysema in one of nine cases (11%), in which they were evident but subtle on the high-dose scans. These differences were not statistically significant. Linear streak artifact was more prominent on images acquired with the low-dose technique, but the two techniques were judged equally diagnostic in 97% of cases. The authors conclude that HRCT images acquired at 20 mA yield anatomic information equivalent to that obtained with 200-mA scans in the majority of patients, without significant loss of spatial resolution or image degradation due to linear streak artifact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchography
  • Humans
  • Lung / blood supply
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*