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J Digit Imaging. 2008 Mar;21(1):91-8. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

Integration of temporal subtraction and nodule detection system for digital chest radiographs into picture archiving and communication system (PACS): four-year experience.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Kyushu University, 3-1-1, Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan. sakai@shs.kyushu-u.ac.jp


Since May 2002, temporal subtraction and nodule detection systems for digital chest radiographs have been integrated into our hospital's picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). Image data of digital chest radiographs were stored in PACS with the digital image and communication in medicine (DICOM) protocol. Temporal subtraction and nodule detection images were produced automatically in an exclusive server and delivered with current and previous images to the work stations. The problems that we faced and the solutions that we arrived at were analyzed. We encountered four major problems. The first problem, as a result of the storage of the original images' data with the upside-down, reverse, or lying-down positioning on portable chest radiographs, was solved by postponing the original data storage for 30 min. The second problem, the variable matrix sizes of chest radiographs obtained with flat-panel detectors (FPDs), was solved by improving the computer algorithm to produce consistent temporal subtraction images. The third problem, the production of temporal subtraction images of low quality, could not be solved fundamentally when the original images were obtained with different modalities. The fourth problem, an excessive false-positive rate on the nodule detection system, was solved by adjusting this system to chest radiographs obtained in our hospital. Integration of the temporal subtraction and nodule detection system into our hospital's PACS was customized successfully; this experience may be helpful to other hospitals.

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