News | Computed Tomography (CT) | August 08, 2016

Initial Results Reported for First Crowd-Sourced CT Image Quality Study

Findings of ultra-low cost study reveal more differences in CT lung cancer screening protocols than expected, highlighting need for better communication, education and resources

CT lung cancer screening, computed tomography, crowd-sourced study, image quality, Prevent Cancer Foundation workshop

August 8, 2016 — An overview of the initial findings and results from the CT Lung Screening Protocol Challenge was announced at the Prevent Cancer Foundation Quantitative Imaging Workshop on June 13, 2016.

This first-of-its-kind study allowed researchers to evaluate the protocols and image quality performance of currently-deployed computed tomography (CT) scanners for low-dose CT lung cancer screening. The researchers also obtained initial data on the applicability of these scanners and protocols for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The use of 3M Scotch Magic tape as an image quality reference object provided an ultra-low cost and novel method of evaluating fundamental CT image quality performance across a scanner’s field of view. 3M Scotch tape is manufactured so that this product’s dimensions are extremely consistent.

Over a two-month data collection period, the information received from CT lung cancer screening image data was automatically analyzed. Data were received from 26 healthcare institutions, 53 CT scanners and approximately 128 individual CT scans. Preliminary analysis of the study data revealed larger differences in CT scanning protocols than expected, despite low-dose lung cancer screening recommendations and guidelines from major societies. These data highlighted the need for more communication, education and resources for establishing and verifying CT imaging protocols.

The study data also revealed a critical need to continue collecting large databases of image quality data and also revealed many opportunities to improve CT scanners and imaging methods to better support detection and quantitative measurement of early lung disease.

The Challenge data review committee is now preparing a manuscript of the preliminary Challenge findings, which will be submitted for review in August.

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