Objective: To determine the feasibility of a computer-aided detection (CAD) algorithm as the “first reader” in computed tomography colonography (CTC).
Methods: In phase 1 of a 2-part blind trial, we measured the performance of 3 radiologists reading 41 CTC studies without CAD. In phase 2, readers interpreted the same cases using a CAD list of 30 potential polyps.
Results: Unassisted readers detected, on average, 63% of polyps ≥10 mm in diameter. Using CAD, the sensitivity was 74% (not statistically different). Per-patient analysis showed a trend toward increased sensitivity for polyps ≥10 mm in diameter, from 73% to 90% with CAD (not significant) without decreasing specificity. Computer-aided detection significantly decreased interobserver variability (P = 0.017). Average time to detection of the first polyp decreased significantly with CAD, whereas total reading case reading time was unchanged.
Conclusion: Computer-aided detection as a first reader in CTC was associated with similar per-polyp and per-patient detection sensitivity to unassisted reading. Computer-aided detection decreased interobserver variability and reduced the time required to detect the first polyp.