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THORACIC SPINE IMAGING: A COMPARISON BETWEEN RADIOGRAPHY AND TOMOSYNTHESIS USING VISUAL GRADING CHARACTERISTICS

Journal article
Authors Erik Ceder
Barbro Danielson
Peter Kovàč
Hanna Fogel
Angelica Svalkvist
Jenny Vikgren
Magnus Båth
Published in Radiation protection dosimetry
Volume 169
Issue 1-4
Pages 204-210
ISSN 1742-3406
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiology
Pages 204-210
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1093/rpd/ncv559
Subject categories Radiology, Radiological physics

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate digital tomosynthesis (DTS) in thoracic spine imaging, comparing the reproduction of anatomical structures with that achieved using digital radiography (DR). In a prospective visual grading study, 23 patients referred in 2014 for elective radiographic examination of the thoracic spine were examined using lateral DR and DTS. The DR image and the DTS section images were read in random order by four radiologists, evaluating the ability of the modalities to present a clear reproduction of nine specific relevant structures of the thoracic vertebrae 3, 6 and 9 (T3, T6 and T9). The data were analysed using visual grading characteristics (VGC) analysis. The VGC analysis revealed a statistically significant difference in favour of DTS for all evaluated structures, except for the anterior vertebral edges and lower end plate surfaces of T6 and T9 and the cancellous bone of T9. The difference was most striking in T3 and for posterior structures. For no structure in any vertebra was the reproduction rated significantly better for DR. In conclusion, DTS of the thoracic spine appears to be a promising alternative to DR, especially in areas where the problem of overlaying anatomy is accentuated, such as posterior and upper thoracic structures.

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