CT of a bronchial phantom. Factors affecting appearance and size measurements

Invest Radiol. Sep-Oct 1984;19(5):394-8. doi: 10.1097/00004424-198409000-00011.


In order to determine the most appropriate window settings for viewing CT of the bronchial tree, we performed CT of a bronchial phantom consisting of air-filled tubes measuring from 3.1 to 12.7 mm, oriented at varying angles relative to the scan plane, surrounded by water or air, and with scan collimation of 10 mm, 5 mm, and 1.5 mm. Using a computer program to graphically display CT number relative to the distance across the tube's lumen, it was found that a window mean of -150 H accurately estimated the internal diameter of tubes surrounded by water, at all angles, when collimation was 5 mm or 1.5 mm. With 10-mm collimation, tube diameter was slightly underestimated for tubes 9.5 mm or less when oriented 30 degrees or more from perpendicular to the plane of scan. At lower window settings and window widths of 500 H or less, all tube's diameters were significantly underestimated. At -150 H, with tubes parallel to and centered in the scan plane, 5-mm and 1.5-mm collimation were most accurate; with decentering of 4 mm, 10-mm collimation better showed the tube's lumen. When surrounded by air, tube wall thickness was best estimated using a window mean of -450 H.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchi / anatomy & histology*
  • Bronchography
  • Humans
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*