Benefit of overlapping reconstruction for improving the quantitative assessment of CT lung nodule volume

Acad Radiol. 2013 Feb;20(2):173-80. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Oct 22.


Rationale and objectives: The aim of this study was to quantify the effect of overlapping reconstruction on the precision and accuracy of lung nodule volume estimates in a phantom computed tomographic (CT) study.

Materials and methods: An anthropomorphic phantom was used with a vasculature insert on which synthetic lung nodules were attached. Repeated scans of the phantom were acquired using a 64-slice CT scanner. Overlapping and contiguous reconstructions were performed for a range of CT imaging parameters (exposure, slice thickness, pitch, reconstruction kernel) and a range of nodule characteristics (size, density). Nodule volume was estimated with a previously developed matched-filter algorithm.

Results: Absolute percentage bias across all nodule sizes (n = 2880) was significantly lower when overlapping reconstruction was used, with an absolute percentage bias of 6.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.4-6.9), compared to 13.2% (95% CI, 12.7-13.8) for contiguous reconstruction. Overlapping reconstruction also showed a precision benefit, with a lower standard percentage error of 7.1% (95% CI, 6.9-7.2) compared with 15.3% (95% CI, 14.9-15.7) for contiguous reconstructions across all nodules. Both effects were more pronounced for the smaller, subcentimeter nodules.

Conclusions: These results support the use of overlapping reconstruction to improve the quantitative assessment of nodule size with CT imaging.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / diagnostic imaging
  • Solitary Pulmonary Nodule / pathology*
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tumor Burden*