Computer-aided detection combined with MDCT improves radiologists’ ability to detect solid lung nodules early enough for them to be treated without increasing interpretation time, according to a recent study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

"The comparison of a current examination with prior examinations is a time-consuming and tedious task," said Philippe A. Grenier, MD, of the Hôpital Pitié-Salpetrière, Paris. "This study wanted to evaluate the potential of a computerized automated system to improve human efficiency in this way, and determine whether CAD systems improve the detection of actionable lung nodules," he said.

The study consisted of 54 pairs of low-dose MDCT chest exams. The CAD system detected 52 nodules that were 4 mm or larger in 25 exams. One cancer was initially missed by one radiologist but was correctly identified with CAD input. On average, readers spent 4 to 5 minutes per case to read the paired exams on CAD and 6 to 8 seconds per CAD mark. The CAD system successfully matched 91.3% of nodules detected in both exams.

"We were surprised by the fact that the time spent on the CAD workstation reviewing the current and previous exams corresponded to the time necessary to detect and match lung nodules on the clinical workstation," said Grenier. "We have implemented CAD as part of our routine for these examinations," he said.