Validation of a Projection-domain Insertion of Liver Lesions into CT Images

Baiyu Chen, Chi Ma, Shuai Leng, Jeff L. Fidler, Shannon P. Sheedy, Cynthia H. McCollough, Joel G. Fletcher, Lifeng Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives The aim of this study was to validate a projection-domain lesion-insertion method with observer studies. Materials and Methods A total of 51 proven liver lesions were segmented from computed tomography images, forward projected, and inserted into patient projection data. The images containing inserted and real lesions were then reconstructed and examined in consensus by two radiologists. First, 102 lesions (51 original, 51 inserted) were viewed in a randomized, blinded fashion and scored from 1 (absolutely inserted) to 10 (absolutely real). Statistical tests were performed to compare the scores for inserted and real lesions. Subsequently, a two-alternative-forced-choice test was conducted, with lesions viewed in pairs (real vs. inserted) in a blinded fashion. The radiologists selected the inserted lesion and provided a confidence level of 1 (no confidence) to 5 (completely certain). The number of lesion pairs that were incorrectly classified was calculated. Results The scores for inserted and proven lesions had the same median (8) and similar interquartile ranges (inserted, 5.5–8; real, 6.5–8). The mean scores were not significantly different between real and inserted lesions (P value = 0.17). The receiver operating characteristic curve was nearly diagonal, with an area under the curve of 0.58 ± 0.06. For the two-alternative-forced-choice study, the inserted lesions were incorrectly identified in 49% (25 out of 51) of pairs; radiologists were incorrect in 38% (3 out of 8) of pairs even when they felt very confident in identifying the inserted lesion (confidence level ≥4). Conclusions Radiologists could not distinguish between inserted and real lesions, thereby validating the lesion-insertion technique, which may be useful for conducting virtual clinical trials to optimize image quality and radiation dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1229
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • image quality assessment
  • lesion insertion
  • projection domain
  • virtual clinical trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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