Imaging features in post-mortem x-ray dark-field chest radiographs and correlation with conventional x-ray and CT

Published on 2019-07-11T05:00:00Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Although x-ray dark-field imaging has been intensively investigated for lung imaging in different animal models, there is very limited data about imaging features in the human lungs. Therefore, in this work, a reader study on nine post-mortem human chest x-ray dark-field radiographs was performed to evaluate dark-field signal strength in the lungs, intraobserver and interobserver agreement, and image quality and to correlate with findings of conventional x-ray and CT. Methods In this prospective work, chest x-ray dark-field radiography with a tube voltage of 70 kVp was performed post-mortem on nine humans (3 females, 6 males, age range 52–88 years). Visual quantification of dark-field and transmission signals in the lungs was performed by three radiologists. Results were compared to findings on conventional x-rays and 256-slice computed tomography. Image quality was evaluated. For ordinal data, median, range, and dot plots with medians and 95% confidence intervals are presented; intraobserver and interobserver agreement were determined using weighted Cohen κ. Results Dark-field signal grading showed significant differences between upper and middle (p = 0.004–0.016, readers 1–3) as well as upper and lower zones (p = 0.004–0.016, readers 1–2). Median transmission grading was indifferent between all lung regions. Intraobserver and interobserver agreements were substantial to almost perfect for grading of both dark-field (κ = 0.793–0.971 and κ = 0.828–0.893) and transmission images (κ = 0.790–0.918 and κ = 0.700–0.772). Pulmonary infiltrates correlated with areas of reduced dark-field signal. Image quality was rated good for dark-field images. Conclusions Chest x-ray dark-field images provide information of the lungs complementary to conventional x-ray and allow reliable visual quantification of dark-field signal strength.

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Fingerle, Alexander; De Marco, Fabio; Andrejewski, Jana; Willer, Konstantin; Gromann, Lukas; Noichl, Wolfgang; et al. (2019): Imaging features in post-mortem x-ray dark-field chest radiographs and correlation with conventional x-ray and CT. figshare. Collection.