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Eur Radiol. 2004 Jan;14(1):86-92. Epub 2003 Nov 13.

Volumetric measurements of pulmonary nodules at multi-row detector CT: in vivo reproducibility.

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Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse 33, 48149, Muenster, Germany.


The aim of this study was to assess the in vivo measurement precision of a software tool for volumetric analysis of pulmonary nodules from two consecutive low-dose multi-row detector CT scans. A total of 151 pulmonary nodules (diameter 2.2-20.5 mm, mean diameter 7.4+/-4.5 mm) in ten subjects with pulmonary metastases were examined with low-dose four-detector-row CT (120 kVp, 20 mAs (effective), collimation 4x1 mm, normalized pitch 1.75, slice thickness 1.25 mm, reconstruction increment 0.8 mm; Somatom VolumeZoom, Siemens). Two consecutive low-dose scans covering the whole lung were performed within 10 min. Nodule volume was determined for all pulmonary nodules visually detected in both scans using the volumetry tool included in the Siemens LungCare software. The 95% limits of agreement between nodule volume measurements on different scans were calculated using the Bland and Altman method for assessing measurement agreement. Intra- and interobserver agreement of volume measurement were determined using repetitive measurements of 50 randomly selected nodules at the same scan by the same and different observers. Taking into account all 151 nodules, 95% limits of agreement were -20.4 to 21.9% (standard error 1.5%); they were -19.3 to 20.4% (standard error 1.7%) for 105 nodules <10 mm. Limits of agreement were -3.9 to 5.7% for intraobserver and -5.5 to 6.6% for interobserver agreement. Precision of in vivo volumetric analysis of nodules with an automatic volumetry software tool was sufficiently high to allow for detection of clinically relevant growth in small pulmonary nodules.

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