Chronic infiltrative lung disease: comparison of diagnostic accuracies of radiography and low- and conventional-dose thin-section CT

Radiology. 1994 Jun;191(3):669-73. doi: 10.1148/radiology.191.3.8184044.


Purpose: To compare the accuracy of low-dose thin-section computed tomography (CT), chest radiography, and conventional-dose thin-section CT in diagnosis of chronic infiltrative lung disease (CILD).

Materials and methods: Chest radiographs and low-dose (80-mAs) and conventional-dose (340-mAs) thin-section (1.5-mm) CT scans from 50 patients with CILD and 10 healthy control subjects were randomized and analyzed retrospectively. For CT, three images were obtained: at the aortic arch, at the tracheal carina, and 1 cm above the right hemidiaphragm. Two independent observers listed three likely diagnoses and recorded the degree of confidence in their first choice.

Results: A correct first-choice diagnosis was made more often with either CT technique than with radiography (P < .02). A high confidence level in the diagnosis was reached in 42% of radiographic, 61% of low-dose CT, and 63% of conventional-dose CT interpretations, which were correct in 92%, 90%, and 96% of the studies, respectively.

Conclusion: The superior diagnostic accuracy of low-dose thin-section CT was achieved without an increase in effective radiation dose.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed* / methods