Pilot study to determine whether reduced-dose photon-counting detector chest computed tomography can reliably display Brody II score imaging findings for children with cystic fibrosis at radiation doses that approximate radiographs

Kelly K. Horst, Nathan C. Hull, Paul G. Thacker, Nadir Demirel, Lifeng Yu, Jennifer S. McDonald, Nicholas B. Larson, Cynthia H. McCollough, Joel Garland Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Brody II score uses chest CT to guide therapeutic changes in children with cystic fibrosis; however, patients and providers are often reticent to undergo chest CT given concerns about radiation. Objective: We sought to determine the ability of a reduced-dose photon-counting detector (PCD) chest CT protocol to reproducibly display pulmonary disease severity using the Brody II score for children with cystic fibrosis (CF) scanned at radiation doses similar to those of a chest radiograph. Materials and methods: Pediatric patients with CF underwent non-contrast reduced-dose chest PCD-CT. Volumetric inspiratory and expiratory scans were obtained without sedation or anesthesia. Three pediatric radiologists with Certificates of Added Qualification scored each scan on an ordinal scale and assigned a Brody II score to grade bronchiectasis, peribronchial thickening, parenchymal opacity, air trapping and mucus plugging. We report image-quality metrics using descriptive statistics. To calculate inter-rater agreement for Brody II scoring, we used the Krippendorff alpha and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Results: Fifteen children with CF underwent reduced-dose PCD chest CT in both inspiration and expiration (mean age 8.9 years, range, 2.5–17.5 years; 4 girls). Mean volumetric CT dose index (CTDIvol) was 0.07 ± 0.03 mGy per scan. Mean effective dose was 0.12 ± 0.04 mSv for the total examination. All three readers graded spatial resolution and noise as interpretable on lung windows. The average Brody II score was 12.5 (range 4–19), with moderate inter-reader reliability (ICC of 0.61 [95% CI=0.27, 0.84]). Inter-rater reliability was moderate to substantial for bronchiectasis (0.52), peribronchial thickening (0.55), presence of opacity (0.62) and air trapping (0.70) and poor for mucus plugging (0.09). Conclusion: Reduced-dose PCD-CT permits diagnostic image quality and reproducible identification of Brody II scoring imaging findings at radiation doses similar to those for chest radiography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Radiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Brody II score
  • Children
  • Computed tomography
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Lungs
  • Photon-counting detector computed tomography
  • Radiation dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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