How automated image alignment impacts image interpretation
A presentation by Bradley J. Erickson, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y. featured details about according to a SCAR-supported R&D project that evaluated the possible benefits of comparing and matching prior images to more recent studies using a variety of techniques.
The study involved the recruitment of 20 sequential and comparable CT and MR examinations including neurological and body studies. (Though they intended for numerous multislice reading centers to be included in the study, Erickson said that due to time and other limitations this was not possible.) The initial review registered the old with the new, but the second review included only the latest exam. The time differential in coming to a conclusion about the image in both cases was measured.

One of the key findings was that the body images did not benefit from the comparisons because of the disparity between the older and more recent studies. However, comparisons of older and newer neuro exams did see some promising results with study registration a key factor, though not in all cases.

Erickson emphasized that adopting of standard scanning protocols is key to fully realizing the promise of such study comparisons, especially in the case of body studies. He noted that advances in CT exams, which allow for body exams to be performed with only a single breath hold, might allow for such exams to see the same benefits that neuro exams evaluations seems to have, according to the study.