Comparison Of Single-Slice Computed Tomography Protocols For Detection Of Pulmonary Nodules In Dogs

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Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2009;50:279-284.

Two dogs (4 and 38 kg) with radiographic evidence of pulmonary nodules were evaluated using single-slice, helical computed tomography (CT). Each thorax was scanned using 12 combinations of examination parameters that included slice collimation width (3 and 5 mm for the small dog and 5 and 7 mm for the large dog), pitch (1, 1.5, and 2), and reconstruction interval (0.5 and 1). Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for nodule detection were evaluated for each protocol by three different observers, their results being compared with a consensus evaluation of images acquired with the protocol providing the best theoretic resolution (narrow collimation, pitch of 1, reconstruction interval of 0.5). For all observers, sensitivity and accuracy were significantly increased when using a protocol with narrow collimation (P < 0.000120130.005 and P=0.000320130.005, respectively). Pitch and reconstruction interval did not significantly influence the accuracy, sensitivity, or specificity for at least two of the observers. Additionally, nodule size ( < 3 mm vs. > 3 mm) did not significantly affect nodule detection. Interobserver repeatability was variable among protocols (03BA=0.3220130.78), highlighting the fact that nodule detection may be more dependent on the observer than on the choice of the CT protocol. For single-slice CT, the results of this study suggest that narrow collimation (3-5 mm, depending on the animal’s size), a pitch of 2 and a reconstruction interval of 1 should be used in dogs for the detection of pulmonary nodules.