Diagnostic Performance of a Flat-Panel Detector at Low Tube Voltage in Chest Radiography: A Phantom Study

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Rationale and Objectives:To evaluate a large area, cesium iodide amorphous silicon flat-panel detector (CsI/a-Si) at 3 tube voltages to detect simulated interstitial lung disease, nodules, and catheters.Methods:Simulated interstitial lung disease, nodules, and catheters were superimposed over a chest phantom. Images were generated at 125 kVp, 90 kVp, and 70 kVp at the same surface dose and reduced effective dose equivalent for 90 kVp and 70 kVp and printed on hard copies. Fifty-four thousand observations were analyzed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC).Results:Detectability of linear, miliary, reticular pattern, and nodules over lucent lung as well as of catheters and nodules over obscured chest areas increased at 90 and/or 70 kVp with higher Az values; however, only it was statistically significant for reticular pattern at 70 kVp and nodules at 90 kVp compared with 125 kVp (P <0.05). The detection of ground-glass pattern was worse at lower kVp (P >0.05).Conclusion:For most simulated patterns, differences in diagnostic performance at 70 kVp/90 kVp and 125 kVp were not significant, except for reticular pattern and nodules over lucent lung.

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