Conventional hardcopy images from 266 body CT studies were compared with those provided at a commercially available picture archiving communication system (PACS) workstation. Unprocessed PACS images were larger but otherwise precisely duplicated hardcopy images. The PACS images were evaluated before and after application of various image processing/ display features. Approximately three-quarters of the cases were depicted equally well with PACS and hardcopy, but in one quarter of the cases, diagnostic features were judged to be shown more clearly at the PACS workstation. When PACS images were viewed first, change in diagnosis after subsequent hardcopy inspection was infrequent (confidence change: 4%; different findings: 2%). Conversely, when hardcopy images were viewed first, change in diagnosis after subsequent PACS inspection was more frequent (confidence change: 19%; different findings: 8%). Specialized image manipulation available on PACS was critical for its performance. Review of cases with new findings discovered during the second inspection showed the majority of them to be clinically significant, true-positives discovered by PACS. We conclude that PACS is a useful modality for interpretation of body CT images.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging