Objective To evaluate the effect of radiation dose reduction and iterative reconstruction (IR) on the performance of computer-aided detection (CAD) for pulmonary nodules.
Methods In this prospective study twenty-five patients were included who were scanned for pulmonary nodule follow-up. Image acquisition was performed at routine dose and three reduced dose levels in a single session by decreasing mAs-values with 45%, 60% and 75%. Tube voltage was fixed at 120 kVp for patients ≥80 kg and 100 kVp for patients <80 kg. Data were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP), iDose4 (levels 1,4,6) and IMR (levels 1-3). All noncalcified solid pulmonary nodules ≥4 mm identified by two radiologists in consensus served as the reference standard. Subsequently, nodule volume was measured with CAD software and compared to the reference consensus. The numbers of true-positives, false-positives and missed pulmonary nodules were evaluated as well as the sensitivity.
Results Median effective radiation dose was 2.2 mSv at routine dose and 1.2, 0.9 and 0.6 mSv at respectively 45%, 60% and 75% reduced dose. A total of 28 pulmonary nodules were included. With FBP at routine dose, 89% (25/28) of the nodules were correctly identified by CAD. This was similar at reduced dose levels with FBP, iDose4 and IMR. CAD resulted in a median number of false-positives findings of 11 per scan with FBP at routine dose (93% of the CAD marks) increasing to 15 per scan with iDose4 (95% of the CAD marks) and 26 per scan (96% of the CAD marks) with IMR at the lowest dose level.
Conclusion CAD can identify pulmonary nodules at submillisievert dose levels with FBP, hybrid and model-based IR. However, the number of false-positive findings increased using hybrid and especially model-based IR at submillisievert dose while dose reduction did not affect the number of false-positives with FBP.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.12.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/82502
European Journal of Radiology
Department of Radiology

den Harder, A., Willemink, M. J., van Hamersvelt, R. W., Vonken, E. J. P. A., Milles, J., Schilham, A., … Budde, R. (2016). Effect of radiation dose reduction and iterative reconstruction on computer-aided detection of pulmonary nodules: Intra-individual comparison. European Journal of Radiology, 85(2), 346–351. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2015.12.003