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Detectability of pathological lesions in lumbar spine radiography

Magazine article
Authors A. Tingberg
Magnus Båth
M. Ruschin
A. Grahn
J. Besjakov
S. Börjesson
Markus Håkansson
S. Mattsson
Lars Gunnar Månsson
Published in Progress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
Volume 5749
Pages 518-526
ISSN 1605-7422
Publication year 2005
Published at Institute of Selected Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Pages 518-526
Language en
Keywords Anatomical background , Detectability , Lumbar spine radiography , Pathological lesions
Subject categories Radiological physics, Radiology


Thirty images with added simulated pathological lesions at two different dose levels (100% and 10% dose) were evaluated with the free-response forced error experiment by nine experienced radiologists. The simulated pathological lesions present in the images were classified according to four different parameters: the position within the lumbar spine, possibility to perform a symmetrical (left-right) comparison, the lesion contrast, and the complexity of the surrounding background where the lesion was situated. The detectability of each lesion was calculated as the fraction of radiologists who successfully detected the lesion before a false positive error was made. The influence of each of the four parameters on lesion detectability was investigated. The results of the study show that the influence of lesion contrast is the most important factor for detectability. Since the dose level had a limited effect on detectability, large dose savings can be made without reducing the detectability of pathological lesions in lumbar spine radiography.

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