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Acta Radiol. 2006 Feb;47(1):48-57.

Virtual bronchoscopy versus thin section computed tomography in evaluation of moderate and low grade stenoses: receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.

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Computed Tomography Department and Medical Physics Unit, General Hospital Konstantopoulio Agia Olga, New Ionia, Athens, Greece.



To evaluate the impact of virtual bronchoscopy, under proper threshold settings, on observer level of confidence in the assessment of bronchial abnormalities producing stenoses < or = 75% compared to interpretation of thin section computed tomography (CT) images.


Sixty-five patients with fiberoptic bronchoscopy positive for tracheobronchial abnormalities were evaluated in a blinded observer study using a commercially available virtual endoscopy software package. The findings of virtual endoscopy were compared with those of fiberoptic bronchoscopy using receiver operating characteristic curves (ROCs) and other statistical tools.


A total of 102 lesions were identified by fiberoptic bronchoscopy, with 44 of these producing bronchial stenoses < or = 75%. Concerning the latter lesions, for virtual bronchoscopy the areas under the ROCs were 0.93 and 0.96 for the two observers, respectively, while for thin section CT the corresponding values were 0.86 and 0.88; the differences observed were statistically significant. Contrary to thin section CT, virtual bronchoscopy did not show statistically significant differences from fiberoptic bronchoscopy regarding estimation of degree of stenosis.


Virtual bronchoscopy under proper threshold settings has a statistically significant impact on observer performance where moderate and low-grade bronchial stenoses are concerned and gives an estimate of the degree of stenosis more precisely than thin section CT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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