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6 June 2000 Automatic detection of pulmonary nodules at spiral CT: first clinical experience with a computer-aided diagnosis system
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We evaluated the practical application of a Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) system for viewing spiral computed tomography (CT) of the chest low-dose screening examinations which includes an automatic detection of pulmonary nodules. A UNIX- based CAD system was developed including a detection algorithm for pulmonary nodules and a user interface providing an original axial image, the same image with nodules highlighted, a thin-slab MIP, and a cine mode. As yet, 26 CT examinations with 1625 images were reviewed in a clinical setting and reported by an experienced radiologist using both the CAD system and hardcopies. The CT studies exhibited 19 nodules found on the hardcopies in consensus reporting of 2 experienced radiologists. Viewing with the CAD system was more time consuming than using hardcopies (4.16 vs. 2.92 min) due to analyzing MIP and cine mode. The algorithm detected 49% (18/37) pulmonary nodules larger than 5 mm and 30% (21/70) of all nodules. It produced an average of 6.3 false positive findings per CT study. Most of the missed nodules were adjacent to the pleura. However, the program detected 6 nodules missed by the radiologists. Automatic nodule detection increases the radiologists's awareness of pulmonary lesions. Simultaneous display of axial image and thin-slab MIP makes the radiologist more confident in diagnosis of smaller pulmonary nodules. The CAD system improves the detection of pulmonary nodules at spiral CT. Lack of sensitivity and specificity is still an issue to be addressed but does not prevent practical use.
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Dag Wormanns, Martin Fiebich, Christian Wietholt, Stefan Diederich, and Walter Heindel "Automatic detection of pulmonary nodules at spiral CT: first clinical experience with a computer-aided diagnosis system", Proc. SPIE 3979, Medical Imaging 2000: Image Processing, (6 June 2000);

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