Detection of pneumothorax: Comparison of digital and conventional chest imaging

L. L. Fajardo, B. J. Hillman, G. D. Pond, R. F. Carmody, J. E. Johnson, W. R. Ferrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


To investigate radiologists' performance at interpreting digital radiographic images, we compared the detectability of pneumothoraces on computed radiographic chest images with 0.2-mm pixel size (2.5 lp/mm) with their detectability on matched conventional screen-film images (5 lp/mm). Eight radiologists reviewed 50 computed and 50 screen-film chest radiographs from 25 patients with pneumothoraces and 25 patients with other (or no) abnormalities. Four of the readers who best detected pneumothoraces on screen-film examinations performed worse when interpreting computed radiographic studies; the other 4 readers detected pneumothoraces similarly with both techniques. No relationship was found between the size of a pneumothorax and its likelihood of detection by either technique. These results raise concerns about implementing computed radiography for comprehensive chest imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-480
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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