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Br J Radiol. 2014 Sep;87(1041):20130644. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20130644. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Accuracy of lung nodule volumetry in low-dose CT with iterative reconstruction: an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom study.

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1 Department of Radiology, Korea University Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



The purpose of this study was to assess accuracy of lung nodule volumetry in low-dose CT with application of iterative reconstruction (IR) according to nodule size, nodule density and CT tube currents, using artificial lung nodules within an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom.


Eight artificial nodules (four diameters: 5, 8, 10 and 12 mm; two CT densities: -630 HU that represents ground-glass nodule and +100 HU that represents solid nodule) were randomly placed inside a thoracic phantom. Scans were performed with tube current-time product to 10, 20, 30 and 50 mAs. Images were reconstructed with IR and filtered back projection (FBP). We compared volume estimates to a reference standard and calculated the absolute percentage error (APE).


The APE of all nodules was significantly lower when IR was used than with FBP (7.5 ± 4.7% compared with 9.0 ±6.9%; p < 0.001). The effect of IR was more pronounced for smaller nodules (p < 0.001). IR showed a significantly lower APE than FBP in ground-glass nodules (p < 0.0001), and the difference was more pronounced at the lowest tube current (11.8 ± 5.9% compared with 21.3 ± 6.1%; p < 0.0001). The effect of IR was most pronounced for ground-glass nodules in the lowest CT tube current.


Lung nodule volumetry in low-dose CT by application of IR showed reliable accuracy in a phantom study. Lung nodule volumetry can be reliably applicable to all lung nodules including small, ground-glass nodules even in ultra-low-dose CT with application of IR.


IR significantly improved the accuracy of lung nodule volumetry compared with FBP particularly for ground-glass (-630 HU) nodules. Volumetry in low-dose CT can be utilized in patient with lung nodule work-up, and IR has benefit for small, ground-glass lung nodules in low-dose CT.

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