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1.  Computer-Aided Classification of Visual Ventilation Patterns in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at Two-Phase Xenon-Enhanced CT 
Korean Journal of Radiology  2014;15(3):386-396.
Objective
To evaluate the technical feasibility, performance, and interobserver agreement of a computer-aided classification (CAC) system for regional ventilation at two-phase xenon-enhanced CT in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Materials and Methods
Thirty-eight patients with COPD underwent two-phase xenon ventilation CT with resulting wash-in (WI) and wash-out (WO) xenon images. The regional ventilation in structural abnormalities was visually categorized into four patterns by consensus of two experienced radiologists who compared the xenon attenuation of structural abnormalities with that of adjacent normal parenchyma in the WI and WO images, and it served as the reference. Two series of image datasets of structural abnormalities were randomly extracted for optimization and validation. The proportion of agreement on a per-lesion basis and receiver operating characteristics on a per-pixel basis between CAC and reference were analyzed for optimization. Thereafter, six readers independently categorized the regional ventilation in structural abnormalities in the validation set without and with a CAC map. Interobserver agreement was also compared between assessments without and with CAC maps using multirater κ statistics.
Results
Computer-aided classification maps were successfully generated in 31 patients (81.5%). The proportion of agreement and the average area under the curve of optimized CAC maps were 94% (75/80) and 0.994, respectively. Multirater κ value was improved from moderate (κ = 0.59; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56-0.62) at the initial assessment to excellent (κ = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.79-0.85) with the CAC map.
Conclusion
Our proposed CAC system demonstrated the potential for regional ventilation pattern analysis and enhanced interobserver agreement on visual classification of regional ventilation.
doi:10.3348/kjr.2014.15.3.386
PMCID: PMC4023059  PMID: 24843245
Computer-aided classification; Computed tomography; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Regional ventilation; Xenon CT
2.  Impact of sputum gross appearance and volume on smear positivity of pulmonary tuberculosis: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:172.
Background
Although checking specimen quality upon sputum collection for acid-fast smear of suspected tuberculosis (TB) cases is recommended, this procedure is based on expert opinion. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the impact of sputum gross appearance and volume on smear positivity among patients with suspected pulmonary TB, according to sex.
Methods
From November 2010 through June 2011, we enrolled consecutive patients suspected to have active pulmonary TB. The association of sputum gross appearance and volume with smear positivity, along with other variables possibly affecting smear positivity such as symptoms, disease extent, and cavity on chest radiograph, were investigated.
Results
Among 2,439 patients undergoing TB examination, 170 (113 men, 57 women) with active pulmonary TB were enrolled. They submitted 492 sputa. There were 73 smear-positive patients (42.9%) and 164 smear-positive sputa (33.3%). While gross appearance was associated with smear positivity in both sexes (purulent or blood-tinged sputum (rather than mucoid sputum or saliva); odds ratio (OR), 2.05, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.21–3.47 in men; OR, 2.78, 95% CI, 1.23–6.26 in women), the amount of sputum specimens was associated with smear positivity in only female patients (≥4 ml versus <4 ml; OR, 4.96, 95% CI, 1.98–12.37).
Conclusions
Sputum gross appearance and volume were associated with smear positivity. A volume of 4 ml seems to be the the minimum sputum volume acceptable for smear microscopy in females suspected of TB. Those suspected of TB should be encouraged to expectorate grossly qualified sputum specimens.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-172
PMCID: PMC3449203  PMID: 22853561
Smear microscopy; Sputum; Tuberculosis

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