Purpose: To determine the improvement of radiologist efficiency and performance in the detection of bone metastases at serial follow- up computed tomography (CT) by using a temporal subtraction (TS) technique based on an advanced nonrigid image registration algorithm. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board, and informed consent was waived. CT image pairs (previous and current scans of the torso) in 60 patients with cancer (primary lesion location: prostate, n = 14; breast, n = 16; lung, n = 20; liver, n = 10) were included. These consisted of 30 positive cases with a total of 65 bone metastases depicted only on current images and confirmed by two radiologists who had access to additional imaging examinations and clinical courses and 30 matched negative control cases (no bone metastases). Previous CT images were semiautomatically registered to current CT images by the algorithm, and TS images were created. Seven radiologists independently interpreted CT image pairs to identify newly developed bone metastases without and with TS images with an interval of at least 30 days. Jackknife free-response receiver operating characteristics (JAFROC) analysis was conducted to assess observer performance. Reading time was recorded, and usefulness was evaluated with subjective scores of 1-5, with 5 being extremely useful and 1 being useless. Significance of these values was tested with the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results: The subtraction images depicted various types of bone metastases (osteolytic, n = 28; osteoblastic, n = 26; mixed osteolytic and blastic, n = 11) as temporal changes. The average reading time was significantly reduced (384.3 vs 286.8 seconds; Wilcoxon signed rank test, P = .028). The average figure-of-merit value increased from 0.758 to 0.835; however, this difference was not significant (JAFROC analysis, P = .092). The subjective usefulness survey response showed a median score of 5 for use of the technique (range, 3-5). Conclusion: TS images obtained from serial CT scans using nonrigid registration successfully depicted newly developed bone metastases and showed promise for their efficient detection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging