Detection of Pulmonary Metastases with Multi–Detector Row CT Scans of 5-mm Nominal Section Thickness: Autopsy Lung Study

PURPOSE: To determine the effect of changing pitch and collimation on depiction of pulmonary metastases on scans of 5-mm section thickness obtained with multi–detector row computed tomography (CT) compared with those obtained with single–detector row CT.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In five autopsy lungs, 1,013 metastatic 0.5–30.0-mm nodules were detected at helical CT with 1-mm collimation and histopathologically diagnosed as metastases. Each nodule was numbered, and its localization was recorded as the standard for subsequent studies. Four types of scans of 5-mm section thickness were obtained with multi–detector row CT and four sets of helical pitch and table speed, respectively, as follows: set A, 3:1 and 7.5 mm per rotation; set B, 6:1 and 15 mm per rotation; set C, 6:1 and 30 mm per rotation; set D, conventional and 5-mm interval. Conventional helical CT scans (set E) were obtained with 5-mm collimation at single–detector row CT. Two independent observers evaluated the five sets of CT scans.

RESULTS: Acquisition times for sets A–D, respectively, were 1.9, 3.8, 7.5, and 1.5 times faster than they were for set E. The mean numbers of detected nodules were 671 (66%) in set A, 661 (65%) in set B, 678 (67%) in set C, 654 (65%) in set D, and 656 (65%) in set E; there was no significant difference in the number of detected nodules among the five sets (P = .997, McNemar test and Bonferroni equation).

CONCLUSION: Regardless of varying pitch or detector collimation, multi– and single–detector row CT scans obtained with 5-mm section thickness have almost the same ability to depict pulmonary metastases and are equivalent.

© RSNA, 2002


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Article History

Published in print: Jan 2003