Sources of Error in Lung Densitometry with CT

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Stoel BC, Vrooman HA, Stolk J, Reiber JHC. Sources of error in lung densitometry with CT. Invest Radiol 1999;34:303–309.RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES.To determine and analyze the most important error sources in lung CT densitometry in vivo.METHODS.The authors examined the influences of CT acquisition errors, physiologic changes, and image segmentation errors on lung densitometry. Among others, spatial dependency and long-term reproducibility of the density measurements of blood and air were examined over a period of 4 years in a group of 28 patients with pulmonary emphysema. These results were related to the measured lung densities in this group.RESULTS.The density measurement of blood and air is strongly dependent on the position in the thorax. Despite full-scanner calibrations, x-ray tube replacement can induce a significant increase in measured blood density.CONCLUSIONS.A change in a lung density parameter over time can actually be the result of tube replacement or changing blood density. A simple postprocessing technique can correct for these changes.

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