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Digital Tomosynthesis of the Chest

Dobbins, James T. III PhD* † ‡; McAdams, H. Page MD*; Godfrey, Devon J. PhD§; Li, Christina M. BS

Journal of Thoracic Imaging: May 2008 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 86-92
doi: 10.1097/RTI.0b013e318173e162

Digital tomosynthesis is a technique that generates an arbitrary number of section images of a patient from a single pass of the x-ray tube. It is under investigation for application to a number of clinical detection tasks, and has recently been implemented in commercial devices for chest radiography. Tomosynthesis provides improved visibility of structures in the chest, such as pulmonary nodules, airways, and spine. This review article outlines the components of a typical tomosynthesis system, and presents examples of improved pulmonary nodule detection from a clinical trial in human subjects. Possible implementation strategies for use in chest imaging are discussed.

Departments of *Radiology

§Radiation Oncology

Medical Physics Graduate Program, Duke University Medical Center

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC

Supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 CA080490) and GE Healthcare.

Reprints: H. Page McAdams, MD, Department of Radiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710 (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.