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1.  Data Management Solution for Large-Volume Computed Tomography in an Existing Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2009;24(1):107-113.
Multidetector row computed tomography (MDCT) creates massive amounts of data, which can overload a picture archiving and communication system (PACS). To solve this problem, we designed a new data storage and image interpretation system in an existing PACS. Two MDCT image datasets, a thick- and a thin-section dataset, and a single-detector CT thick-section dataset were reconstructed. The thin-section dataset was archived in existing PACS disk space reserved for temporary storage, and the system overwrote the source data to preserve available disk space. The thick-section datasets were archived permanently. Multiplanar reformation (MPR) images were reconstructed from the stored thin-section datasets on the PACS workstation. In regular interpretations by eight radiologists during the same week, the volume of images and the times taken for interpretation of thick-section images with (246 CT examinations) or without (170 CT examinations) thin-section images were recorded, and the diagnostic usefulness of the thin-section images was evaluated. Thin-section datasets and MPR images were used in 79% and 18% of cases, respectively. The radiologists’ assessments of this system were useful, though the volume of images and times taken to archive, retrieve, and interpret thick-section images together with thin-section images were significantly greater than the times taken without thin-section images. The limitations were compensated for by the usefulness of thin-section images. This data storage and image interpretation system improves the storage and availability of the thin-section datasets of MDCT and can prevent overloading problems in an existing PACS for the moment.
PMCID: PMC3046785  PMID: 19908094
CT; MDCT; PACS; computer applications
2.  A Computer-Assisted System for Diagnostic Workstations: Automated Bone Labeling for CT Images 
Although accurate information on thoracolumbar bone structure is essential when computed tomography (CT) images are examined, there is no automated method of labeling all the vertebrae and ribs on a CT scan. We are developing a computer-aided diagnosis system that labels ribs and thoracolumbar vertebrae automatically and have evaluated its accuracy. A candidate bone was extracted from the CT image volume data by pixel thresholding and connectivity analysis. All non-bony anatomical structures were removed using a linear discriminate of distribution of CT values and anatomical characteristics. The vertebrae were separated from the ribs on the basis of their distances from the centers of the vertebral bodies. Finally, the thoracic cage and lumbar vertebrae were extracted, and each vertebra was labeled with its own anatomical number by histogram analysis along the craniocaudal midline. The ribs were labeled in a similar manner, based on location data. Twenty-three cases were used for accuracy comparison between our method and the radiologist’s. The automated labeling of the thoracolumbar vertebrae was concordant with the judgments of the radiologist in all cases, and all but the first and second ribs were labeled correctly. These two ribs were frequently misidentified, presumably because of pericostal anatomical clutter or high densities of contrast material in the injected veins. We are confident that this system can contribute usefully as part of a picture archiving and communication system workstation, though further technical improvement is required for identification of the upper ribs.
PMCID: PMC3043723  PMID: 18941839
Computer-aided diagnosis; bone labeling; CT; PACS; ribs
3.  A Filmless Radiology Teaching Conference System for Pertinent Displaying and Image Searching 
To solve the problems of image displays in filmless radiology conferences for the purpose of teaching, we made an experimental design of a conference system with dual 50-in. plasma monitors for displaying larger images and a shared folder containing shortcuts to images for quick display during conferences on the desktop of each client computer in a picture archival and communication system. The image quality of the monitors was evaluated using the TG18-QC test pattern. The display time of images was measured in 20 cases when the shared folder was used and when it was not. Monitor screen size and image quality, operability, display time of images, and overall impression given by the system were evaluated subjectively by five radiologists. Although the image quality of the monitor was not as high as that of the high-resolution monitors used for diagnostic radiology, its performance was good enough for teaching. The average display time using the shared folder (2.6 ± 0.39 s) was significantly shorter than without it (16.9 ± 5.04 s; p = 2.85 × 10−6). Despite the need for certain improvements in monitor size and in the operability of the system, the radiologists considered the system suitable for radiology teaching conferences. We believe that this system is useful for institutions that intend to introduce a filmless system for filmless radiology teaching conferences.
PMCID: PMC3043734  PMID: 18196340
Digital radiography; PACS; conferences; monitors; computer applications

Results 1-3 (3)