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Acta Radiol. 2013 Jul;54(6):634-9. doi: 10.1177/0284185113481593. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Digital tomosynthesis of the thorax: the influence of respiratory motion artifacts on lung nodule detection.

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Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Digital tomosynthesis considerably reduces problems created by overlapping anatomy compared with chest X-ray (CXR). However, digital tomosynthesis requires a longer scan time compared with CXR, and thus may be vulnerable to motion artifacts.


To compare the diagnostic performance of digital tomosynthesis in subjects with and without respiratory motion artifacts.


The institutional review board approved this retrospective study, and the requirement for written informed consent was waived. A total of 46 subjects with imaging containing respiratory motion artifacts were enrolled in this study, 18 of whom were positive and 28 of whom were negative for lung nodules on computed tomography (CT). The control group was comprised of 92 age-matched subjects with imaging devoid of motion artifacts. Of these, 36 were positive and 56 were negative for lung nodules on subsequent CT scan. The size criteria of nodules were 4-10 mm. Three chest radiologists independently evaluated the radiographs and digital tomosynthesis images for the presence of pulmonary nodules. Multireader multicase receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analyses was used for statistical comparisons.


Within the control group, the areas under curve (AUC) for observer performances in detecting lung nodules on digital tomosynthesis was higher than that on CXR (P = 0.017). Within the study group, there were no significant differences in AUCs for observer performances (P = 0.576).


When no motion artifacts are present, the detection performance of nodules (4-10 mm) on digital tomosynthesis is significantly better than that on CXR, whereas there is not a significant difference in cases with motion artifacts.


Adults; digital radiography; lung; motion artifacts; observer performance

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