Effect of Radiation Dose Level on Accuracy and Precision of Manual Size Measurements in Chest Tomosynthesis Evaluated Using Simulated Pulmonary Nodules

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the dependency of the accuracy and precision of nodule diameter measurements on the radiation dose level in chest tomosynthesis. Artificial ellipsoid-shaped nodules with known dimensions were inserted in clinical chest tomosynthesis images. Noise was added to the images in order to simulate radiation dose levels corresponding to effective doses for a standard-sized patient of 0.06 and 0.04 mSv. These levels were compared with the original dose level, corresponding to an effective dose of 0.12 mSv for a standard-sized patient. Four thoracic radiologists measured the longest diameter of the nodules. The study was restricted to nodules located in high-dose areas of the tomosynthesis projection radiographs. A significant decrease of the measurement accuracy and intraobserver variability was seen for the lowest dose level for a subset of the observers. No significant effect of dose level on the interobserver variability was found. The number of non-measurable small nodules (≤5 mm) was higher for the two lowest dose levels compared with the original dose level. In conclusion, for pulmonary nodules at positions in the lung corresponding to locations in high-dose areas of the projection radiographs, using a radiation dose level resulting in an effective dose of 0.06 mSv to a standard-sized patient may be possible in chest tomosynthesis without affecting the accuracy and precision of nodule diameter measurements to any large extent. However, an increasing number of non-measurable small nodules (≤5 mm) with decreasing radiation dose may raise some concerns regarding an applied general dose reduction for chest tomosynthesis examinations in the clinical praxis.

DOI: 10.1093/rpd/ncw041

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Sderman2016EffectOR, title={Effect of Radiation Dose Level on Accuracy and Precision of Manual Size Measurements in Chest Tomosynthesis Evaluated Using Simulated Pulmonary Nodules}, author={Christina S{\"{o}derman and {\AA}se Allansdotter Johnsson and Jenny Vikgren and Rauni Rossi Norrlund and David Molnar and Angelica Svalkvist and Lars Gunnar M{\aa}nsson and Magnus B{\aa}th}, booktitle={Radiation protection dosimetry}, year={2016} }