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Radiology. 2012 Oct;265(1):273-82.

Pulmonary nodule size evaluation with chest tomosynthesis.

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Department of Radiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, and Department of Radiology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Bruna Straket 11, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.



To evaluate intra- and interobserver variability, as well as agreement for nodule size measurements on chest tomosynthesis and computed tomographic (CT) images.


The Regional Ethical Review Board approved this study, and all participants gave written informed consent. Thirty-six segmented nodules in 20 patients were included in the study. Eight observers measured the left-to-right, inferior-to-superior, and longest nodule diameters on chest tomosynthesis and CT images. Intra- and interobserver repeatability, as well as agreement between measurements on chest tomosynthesis and CT images, were assessed as recommended by Bland and Altman.


The difference between the mean manual and the segmented diameter was -2.2 and -2.3 mm for left-to-right and -2.6 and -2.2 mm for the inferior-to-superior diameter for measurements on chest tomosynthesis and CT images, respectively. Intraobserver 95% limits of agreement (LOA) for the longest diameter ranged from a lower limit of -1.1 mm and an upper limit of 1.0 mm to -1.8 and 1.8 mm for chest tomosynthesis and from -0.6 and 0.9 mm to -3.1 and 2.2 mm for axial CT. Interobserver 95% LOA ranged from -1.3 and 1.5 mm to -2.0 and 2.1 mm for chest tomosynthesis and from -1.8 and 1.1 mm to -2.2 and 3.1 mm for axial CT. The 95% LOA concerning the mean of the observers' measurements of the longest diameter at chest tomosynthesis and axial CT were ±2.1 mm (mean measurement error, 0 mm). For the different observers, the 95% LOA between the modalities ranged from -2.2 and 1.6 mm to -3.2 and 2.8 mm.


Measurements on chest tomosynthesis and CT images are comparable, because there is no evident bias between the modalities and the repeatability is similar. The LOA between measurements for the two modalities raise concern if measurements from chest tomosynthesis and CT were to be used interchangeably.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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