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The Diagnostic Value of Computer-Aided Detection at Multidetector-Row Spiral Computed Tomography for Pulmonary Embolism

Bastarrika, Gorka MD, PhD*†; Blackmon, Kevin N. BS*; Ravenel, James G. MD*; Costello, Philip MD*; Schoepf, U Joseph MD*‡

doi: 10.1097/CPM.0b013e31819b3833
Review Article
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Pulmonary embolism is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Patient outcome depends on early and accurate diagnosis of the disease. Computed tomographic pulmonary angiography is the current reference standard for the diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism. However, missed diagnoses of acute pulmonary embolism are not infrequent in clinical practice due to the large volume of images generated by the current generation of computed tomography (CT) scanners and the increasing complexity of the data sets. Careful evaluation of these large data sets for detection of isolated peripheral pulmonary emboli is cumbersome and fatiguing. Recently, computer-aided detection algorithms have been developed to assist the radiologist in the CT evaluation of pulmonary embolism. We review the potential role of computer-aided detection algorithms for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism at pulmonary CT angiography.

Computed tomographic pulmonary angiography is the current reference standard for the diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism. However, missed diagnoses of acute pulmonary embolism are not infrequent in clinical practice due to the large volume of images generated by the current generation of computed tomography scanners and the increasing complexity of the data sets. Recently, computer-aided detection algorithms have been developed to assist the radiologist in the computed tomography evaluation of pulmonary embolism.

From the *Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC; †Department of Radiology, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain; and ‡Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.

P. C. Received Research Support from Bracco and Siemens. U. J. S. Received Research Support from Bayer-Schering, Bracco, General Electric, Medrad, Siemens, and TeraRecon.

Philip Costello is a medical consultant for Bracco. U. Joseph Schoepf is a medical consultant for Bayer-Schering, Bracco, General Electric, Medrad, Siemens, and TeraRecon.

Address correspondence to: Joseph U. Schoepf, MD, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Medical University of South Carolina, Ashley River Tower, MSC 226, 25 Courtenay Drive, Charleston, SC 29401. E-mail: schoepf@musc.edu.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.