CT phantom evaluation of 67,392 American college of radiology accreditation examinations: Implications for opportunistic screening of osteoporosis using CT

Robert D. Boutin, Andrew M. Hernandez, Leon Lenchik, J. Anthony Seibert, Dustin A. Gress, John M. Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether systematic bias in attenuation measurements occurs among CT scanners made by four major manufacturers and the relevance of this bias regarding opportunistic screening for osteoporosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Data on attenuation measurement accuracy were acquired using the American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation phantom and were evaluated in a blinded fashion for four CT manufacturers (8500 accreditation submissions for manufacturer A; 18,575 for manufacturer B; 8278 for manufacturer C; and 32,039 for manufacturer D). The attenuation value for water, acrylic (surrogate for trabecular bone), and Teflon (surrogate for cortical bone; Chemours) materials for an adult abdominal CT technique (120 kV, 240 mA, standard reconstruction algorithm) was used in the analysis. Differences in attenuation value across all manufacturers were assessed using the Kruskal-Wallis test followed by a post hoc test for pairwise comparisons. RESULTS. The mean attenuation value for water ranged from −0.3 to 2.7 HU, with highly significant differences among all manufacturers (p < 0.001). For the trabecular bone surrogate, differences in attenuation values across all manufacturers were also highly significant (p < 0.001), with mean values of 120.9 (SD, 3.5), 124.6 (3.3), 126.9 (4.4), and 123.9 (3.4) HU for manufacturers A, B, C, and D, respectively. For the cortical bone surrogate, differences in attenuation values across all manufacturers were also highly significant (p < 0.001), with mean values of 939.0 (14.2), 874.3 (13.3), 897.6 (11.3), and 912.7 (13.4) HU for manufacturers A, B, C, and D, respectively. CONCLUSION. CT scanners made by different manufacturers show systematic offsets in attenuation measurement when compared with each other. Knowledge of these offsets is useful for optimizing the accuracy of opportunistic diagnosis of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Volume216
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Bias
  • Cancellous bone
  • Cortical bone
  • CT
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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