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Software problems leading to false-positive results.

Hybrid scanners that combine positron emission tomography with computed tomography are falsely indicating coronary artery disease in as many as 40 percent of patients, according to a study in the July 3 issue of the Journal of NuclearAledicine. Researchers attributed the false-positives to problems with the PET-CT software.

In the study, 259 patients underwent myocardial perfusion PET-CT using a 16-slice scanner. The researchers measured misregistration of superimposed PET-CT fusion images in millimeters and correlated the inaccuracies with associated quantitative size and severity of PET defects.

There were false-positive results in 40 percent of the 259 patients. In 23 percent of those patients, the results showed severe false abnormalities suggesting heart disease, which researchers said could have resulted in unwarranted emergency heart procedures if they had not run additional tests to verify the accuracy of the results.

The problem was attributed to an erroneous basic concept in the software functions of the PET-CT scanners. The commercial software does not account for movement in the lungs and heart while the patient is breathing during the test, and as a result, the PET and CT images don't always match or coregister.

Researchers developed a solution by rewriting the software to account for breathing motions and to correctly align PET and CT images. However, the redesigned software is not available commercially at this time.
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Title Annotation:in the news
Publication:ASRT Scanner
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:220
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