A dedicated chest computed radiography (CR) system has an option of energy subtraction (ES) acquisition. Two imaging plates, rather than one, are separated by a copper filter to give a high-energy and low-energy image. This study compares the diagnostic accuracy of conventional computed radiography to that of ES obtained with two radiographic techniques. One soft tissue only image was obtained at the conventional CR technique (s̄ = 254) and the second was obtained at twice the radiation exposure (s̄ = 131) to reduce noise. An anthropomorphic phantom with superimposed low-contrast lung nodules was imaged 53 times for each radiographic technique. Fifteen images had no nodules; 38 images had a total of 90 nodules placed on the phantom. Three chest radiologists read the three sets of images in a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) study. Significant differences in Az were only found between (1) the higher exposure energy subtracted images and the conventional dose energy subtracted images (P = .095, 90% confidence), and (2) the conventional CR and the energy subtracted image obtained at the same technique (P = .024, 98% confidence). As a result of this study, energy subtracted images cannot be substituted for conventional CR images when detecting low-contrast nodules, even when twice the exposure is used to obtain them.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Computer Science Applications