Estimation of Observer Performance for Reduced Radiation Dose Levels in CT: Eliminating Reduced Dose Levels That Are Too Low Is the First Step.
ABSTRACT: RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:This study aims to estimate observer performance for a range of dose levels for common computed tomography (CT) examinations (detection of liver metastases or pulmonary nodules, and cause of neurologic deficit) to prioritize noninferior dose levels for further analysis. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Using CT data from 131 examinations (abdominal CT, 44; chest CT, 44; head CT, 43), CT images corresponding to 4%-100% of the routine clinical dose were reconstructed with filtered back projection or iterative reconstruction. Radiologists evaluated CT images, marking specified targets, providing confidence scores, and grading image quality. Noninferiority was assessed using reference standards, reader agreement rules, and jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristic figures of merit. Reader agreement required that a majority of readers at lower dose identify target lesions seen by the majority of readers at routine dose. RESULTS:Reader agreement identified dose levels lower than 50% and 4% to have inadequate performance for detection of hepatic metastases and pulmonary nodules, respectively, but could not exclude any low dose levels for head CT. Estimated differences in jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristic figures of merit between routine and lower dose configurations found that only the lowest dose configurations tested (ie, 30%, 4%, and 10% of routine dose levels for abdominal, chest, and head CT examinations, respectively) did not meet criteria for noninferiority. At lower doses, subjective image quality declined before observer performance. Iterative reconstruction was only beneficial when filtered back projection did not result in noninferior performance. CONCLUSION:Opportunity exists for substantial radiation dose reduction using existing CT technology for common diagnostic tasks.
Project description:To determine if lower-dose computed tomographic (CT) scans obtained with adaptive image-based noise reduction (adaptive nonlocal means [ANLM]) or iterative reconstruction (sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction [SAFIRE]) result in reduced observer performance in the detection of malignant hepatic nodules and masses compared with routine-dose scans obtained with filtered back projection (FBP).This study was approved by the institutional review board and was compliant with HIPAA. Informed consent was obtained from patients for the retrospective use of medical records for research purposes. CT projection data from 33 abdominal and 27 liver or pancreas CT examinations were collected (median volume CT dose index, 13.8 and 24.0 mGy, respectively). Hepatic malignancy was defined by progression or regression or with histopathologic findings. Lower-dose data were created by using a validated noise insertion method (10.4 mGy for abdominal CT and 14.6 mGy for liver or pancreas CT) and images reconstructed with FBP, ANLM, and SAFIRE. Four readers evaluated routine-dose FBP images and all lower-dose images, circumscribing liver lesions and selecting diagnosis. The jackknife free-response receiver operating characteristic figure of merit (FOM) was calculated on a per-malignant nodule or per-mass basis. Noninferiority was defined by the lower limit of the 95% confidence interval (CI) of the difference between lower-dose and routine-dose FOMs being less than -0.10.Twenty-nine patients had 62 malignant hepatic nodules and masses. Estimated FOM differences between lower-dose FBP and lower-dose ANLM versus routine-dose FBP were noninferior (difference: -0.041 [95% CI: -0.090, 0.009] and -0.003 [95% CI: -0.052, 0.047], respectively). In patients with dedicated liver scans, lower-dose ANLM images were noninferior (difference: +0.015 [95% CI: -0.077, 0.106]), whereas lower-dose FBP images were not (difference -0.049 [95% CI: -0.140, 0.043]). In 37 patients with SAFIRE reconstructions, the three lower-dose alternatives were found to be noninferior to the routine-dose FBP.At moderate levels of dose reduction, lower-dose FBP images without ANLM or SAFIRE were noninferior to routine-dose images for abdominal CT but not for liver or pancreas CT.
Project description:To evaluate the improvement of radiologist performance in detecting bone metastases at follow up low-dose computed tomography (CT) by using a temporal subtraction (TS) technique based on an advanced nonrigid image registration algorithm.Twelve patients with bone metastases (males, 5; females, 7; mean age, 64.8?±?7.6 years; range 51-81 years) and 12 control patients without bone metastases (males, 5; females, 7; mean age, 64.8?±?7.6 years; 51-81 years) were included, who underwent initial and follow-up CT examinations between December 2005 and July 2016. Initial CT images were registered to follow-up CT images by the algorithm, and TS images were created. Three radiologists independently assessed the bone metastases with and without the TS images. The reader averaged jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristics figure of merit was used to compare the diagnostic accuracy.The reader-averaged values of the jackknife alternative free-response receiver operating characteristics figures of merit (?) significantly improved from 0.687 for the readout without TS and 0.803 for the readout with TS (P value = .031. F statistic = 5.24). The changes in the absolute value of CT attenuations in true-positive lesions were significantly larger than those in false-negative lesions (P?<?.001). Using TS, segment-based sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the readout with TS were 66.7%, 98.9%, 94.4%, 90.9%, and 94.8%, respectively.The TS images can significantly improve the radiologist's performance in the detection of bone metastases on low-dose and relatively thick-slice CT.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Use of computed tomography (CT) for diagnostic evaluation has increased dramatically over the past 2 decades. Even though CT is associated with substantially higher radiation exposure than conventional radiography, typical doses are not known. We sought to estimate the radiation dose associated with common CT studies in clinical practice and quantify the potential cancer risk associated with these examinations. METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study describing radiation dose associated with the 11 most common types of diagnostic CT studies performed on 1119 consecutive adult patients at 4 San Francisco Bay Area institutions in California between January 1 and May 30, 2008. We estimated lifetime attributable risks of cancer by study type from these measured doses. RESULTS:Radiation doses varied significantly between the different types of CT studies. The overall median effective doses ranged from 2 millisieverts (mSv) for a routine head CT scan to 31 mSv for a multiphase abdomen and pelvis CT scan. Within each type of CT study, effective dose varied significantly within and across institutions, with a mean 13-fold variation between the highest and lowest dose for each study type. The estimated number of CT scans that will lead to the development of a cancer varied widely depending on the specific type of CT examination and the patient's age and sex. An estimated 1 in 270 women who underwent CT coronary angiography at age 40 years will develop cancer from that CT scan (1 in 600 men), compared with an estimated 1 in 8100 women who had a routine head CT scan at the same age (1 in 11 080 men). For 20-year-old patients, the risks were approximately doubled, and for 60-year-old patients, they were approximately 50% lower. CONCLUSION:Radiation doses from commonly performed diagnostic CT examinations are higher and more variable than generally quoted, highlighting the need for greater standardization across institutions.
Project description:To evaluate the diagnostic performance of Ultra-Low-Dose Chest CT (ULD CT) for the detection of any asbestos-related lesions (primary endpoint) and specific asbestos-related abnormalities, i.e. non-calcified and calcified pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis and significant lung nodules (secondary endpoints).55 male patients (55.7±8.1 years old) with occupational asbestos exposure for at least 15 years and where CT screening was indicated were prospectively included. They all underwent a standard unenhanced chest CT (120kV, automated tube current modulation), considered as the reference, and an ULD CT (135kV, 10mA), both with iterative reconstruction. Two chest radiologists independently and blindly read the examinations, following a detailed protocol. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, accuracy and error rate of ULD CT were calculated using the exact method of Pearson with a confidence interval of 95%.Radiation dose was 17.9±1.2mGy.cm (0.25mSv) for the ULD-CT versus 288.8 ±151mGy.cm (4mSv); p <2.2e-16. Prevalence of abnormalities was 20%. The ULD CT's diagnostic performance in joint reading was high for the primary endpoint (sensitivity = 90.9%, specificity = 100%, positive predictive value = 100%, negative predictive value = 97.8%), high for lung nodules, diffuse pleural thickening and calcified pleural plaques (sensitivity, specificity, PPV and NPV = 100%) and fair for asbestosis (sensitivity = 75%, specificity = 100%, PPV = 00%, NPV = 98.1%). Intra-reader accuracy between the ULD CT and the reference CT for the primary endpoint was 98% for the senior and 100% for the junior radiologist. Inter-reader agreement for the primary endpoint was almost perfect (Cohen's Kappa of 0.81).ULD CT in the screening of asbestos exposure related diseases has 90.9% sensitivity and 100% specificity, and could therefore be proposed as a first line examination.
Project description:To evaluate the annual effective dose per capita attributed to computed tomography (CT) examinations in 2013 and to predict the population effective dose from 2000 to 2013 in Taiwan.A CT examination database collected from 30 hospitals was divided into 22 procedures and classified into six regions: head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and other, respectively. The effective doses in different regions were evaluated by dose-length product (DLP) multiplied by conversion factors.The CT scan dose parameters were collected from 4,407 patients. For the six scanned regions, the percentages of patients scanned were: head (39.8%), neck (3.9%), chest (23.3%), abdomen (26.7%), pelvis (4.8%), and other (1.6%), respectively. The DLPs per patient (mGy·cm/patient) were head (1,071±225), neck (1,103±615), chest (724±509), abdomen (1,315±550), pelvis (1,231±620) and other (1,407±937), respectively. The number of CT examinations increased rapidly, with an average annual growth rate of 7.6%. The number of CT examinations in 2013 was 2.6 times that in 2000. The population effective dose was 0.30 mSv per capita in 2000 and increased to 0.74 mSv per capita in 2013, with an annual growth rate of 7.2%. The growth trend indicates that the effective dose will continue to rise in Taiwan.Some strategies should be applied to cope with this growth. Defining the CT dose reference level stipulated in official recommendations and encouraging the use of iterative reconstruction imaging instead of filtered back-projection imaging could be a useful method for optimizing the effective dose and image quality.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine patient, institution, and machine characteristics that contribute to variation in radiation doses used for computed tomography (CT). DESIGN:Prospective cohort study. SETTING:Data were assembled and analyzed from the University of California San Francisco CT International Dose Registry. PARTICIPANTS:Standardized data from over 2.0 million CT examinations of adults who underwent CT between November 2015 and August 2017 from 151 institutions, across seven countries (Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Israel, and Japan). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Mean effective doses and proportions of high dose examinations for abdomen, chest, combined chest and abdomen, and head CT were determined by patient characteristics (sex, age, and size), type of institution (trauma center, care provision 24 hours per day and seven days per week, academic, private), institutional practice volume, machine factors (manufacturer, model), country, and how scanners were used, before and after adjustment for patient characteristics, using hierarchical linear and logistic regression. High dose examinations were defined as CT scans with doses above the 75th percentile defined during a baseline period. RESULTS:The mean effective dose and proportion of high dose examinations varied substantially across institutions. The doses varied modestly (10-30%) by type of institution and machine characteristics after adjusting for patient characteristics. By contrast, even after adjusting for patient characteristics, wide variations in radiation doses across countries persisted, with a fourfold range in mean effective dose for abdomen CT examinations (7.0-25.7 mSv) and a 17-fold range in proportion of high dose examinations (4-69%). Similar variation across countries was observed for chest (mean effective dose 1.7-6.4 mSv, proportion of high dose examinations 1-26%) and combined chest and abdomen CT (10.0-37.9 mSv, 2-78%). Doses for head CT varied less (1.4-1.9 mSv, 8-27%). In multivariable models, the dose variation across countries was primarily attributable to institutional decisions regarding technical parameters (that is, how the scanners were used). CONCLUSIONS:CT protocols and radiation doses vary greatly across countries and are primarily attributable to local choices regarding technical parameters, rather than patient, institution, or machine characteristics. These findings suggest that the optimization of doses to a consistent standard should be possible. STUDY REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT03000751.
Project description:A phase II trial in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) (NO16853) failed to show noninferiority (progression-free survival, PFS) of capecitabine 825?mg/m(2) plus docetaxel 75?mg/m(2) to the registered capecitabine dose of 1,250?mg/m(2) plus docetaxel 75?mg/m(2). We developed a modeling framework based on NO16853 and the pivotal phase III MBC study, SO14999, to characterize the link between capecitabine dose, tumor growth, PFS, and survival to simulate response to a range of capecitabine doses and determine a minimum capecitabine dose noninferior to 1,250?mg/m(2). Simulation showed NO16853 had little power to demonstrate noninferiority (69%). The power reached 80% with a 1,000?mg/m(2) starting dose and an increased number of PFS events. A starting dose of 1,000?mg/m(2) could be established as noninferior in terms of efficacy to the registered dose in the second-line MBC setting, with a potentially improved safety, in line with medical practice.CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology (2012) 1, e19; doi:10.1038/psp.2012.20; advance online publication 26 December 2012.
Project description:To establish an organ dose database for pediatric and adolescent reference individuals undergoing computed tomography (CT) examinations by using Monte Carlo simulation. The data will permit rapid estimates of organ and effective doses for patients of different age, gender, examination type, and CT scanner model.The Monte Carlo simulation model of a Siemens Sensation 16 CT scanner previously published was employed as a base CT scanner model. A set of absorbed doses for 33 organs∕tissues normalized to the product of 100 mAs and CTDI(vol) (mGy∕100 mAs mGy) was established by coupling the CT scanner model with age-dependent reference pediatric hybrid phantoms. A series of single axial scans from the top of head to the feet of the phantoms was performed at a slice thickness of 10 mm, and at tube potentials of 80, 100, and 120 kVp. Using the established CTDI(vol)- and 100 mAs-normalized dose matrix, organ doses for different pediatric phantoms undergoing head, chest, abdomen-pelvis, and chest-abdomen-pelvis (CAP) scans with the Siemens Sensation 16 scanner were estimated and analyzed. The results were then compared with the values obtained from three independent published methods: CT-Expo software, organ dose for abdominal CT scan derived empirically from patient abdominal circumference, and effective dose per dose-length product (DLP).Organ and effective doses were calculated and normalized to 100 mAs and CTDI(vol) for different CT examinations. At the same technical setting, dose to the organs, which were entirely included in the CT beam coverage, were higher by from 40 to 80% for newborn phantoms compared to those of 15-year phantoms. An increase of tube potential from 80 to 120 kVp resulted in 2.5-2.9-fold greater brain dose for head scans. The results from this study were compared with three different published studies and∕or techniques. First, organ doses were compared to those given by CT-Expo which revealed dose differences up to several-fold when organs were partially included in the scan coverage. Second, selected organ doses from our calculations agreed to within 20% of values derived from empirical formulae based upon measured patient abdominal circumference. Third, the existing DLP-to-effective dose conversion coefficients tended to be smaller than values given in the present study for all examinations except head scans.A comprehensive organ∕effective dose database was established to readily calculate doses for given patients undergoing different CT examinations. The comparisons of our results with the existing studies highlight that use of hybrid phantoms with realistic anatomy is important to improve the accuracy of CT organ dosimetry. The comprehensive pediatric dose data developed here are the first organ-specific pediatric CT scan database based on the realistic pediatric hybrid phantoms which are compliant with the reference data from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). The organ dose database is being coupled with an adult organ dose database recently published as part of the development of a user-friendly computer program enabling rapid estimates of organ and effective dose doses for patients of any age, gender, examination types, and CT scanner model.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a modern automatic tube current modulation (ATCM) and automatic tube voltage selection (ATVS) system on radiation dose and image quality in pediatric head, and torso computed tomography (CT) examinations for various clinical indications. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Four physical anthropomorphic phantoms that represent the average individual as neonate, 1-year-old, 5-year-old, and 10-year-old child were used. Standard head, thorax, and abdomen/pelvis acquisitions were performed with (1) fixed tube current, (2) ATCM, and (3) ATVS. Acquisitions were performed at various radiation dose levels to generate images at different levels of quality. Reference volume CT dose index (CTDIvol), reference image noise, and reference contrast-to-noise ratios were determined. The potential dose reductions with ATCM and ATVS were assessed. RESULTS:The percent reduction of CTDIvol with ATCM ranged from 8% to 24% for head, 16% to 39% for thorax, and 25% to 41% for abdomen/pelvis. The percent reduction of CTDIvol with ATVS varied on the clinical indication. In CT angiography, ATVS resulted to the highest dose reduction, which was up to 70% for head, 77% for thorax, and 34% for abdomen/pelvis. In noncontrast examinations, ATVS increased dose by up to 21% for head, whereas reduced dose by up to 34% for thorax and 48% for abdomen/pelvis. CONCLUSIONS:In pediatric CT, the use of ATCM significantly reduces radiation dose and maintains image noise. The additional use of ATVS reduces further the radiation dose for thorax and abdomen/pelvis, and maintains contrast-to-noise ratio for the specified clinical diagnostic task.