Can chest X-rays and ventilation/perfusion scans be interpreted reliably from personal computer screens?

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A computer-based system is routinely used for home reporting of nuclear medicine scans performed out of hours in our unit. To report ventilation/perfusion scans (V/Q) adquately, chest x-rays were reported on a personal computer and on a lightbox by two radiologists and two nuclear physicians. This study shows that ventilation/perfusion scans can be reliably reported from computer screen images. The loss of data when chest X-rays are digitized to a 512 x 512 matrix, however, results in considerable misinterpretation and the digitized chest X-ray may, at best, be unhelpful and, at worst, result in an incorrect V/Q scan report.

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