Recognition of subsegmental scintigraphic defects in virtual lung scintigraphy

P. Chicco, J. S. Magnussen*, D. W. Mackey, I. P C Murray, H. Van der Wall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A virtual model of the segmental scintigraphic anatomy of the lungs was used to investigate the threshold at which small defects are perceptible. A model of the segmental anatomy of the lungs was developed from a number of sources and counts generated within the phantom by Monte-Carlo simulation of photon emission. Multiple subsegmental defects were created in both lungs and submitted for blinded reporting to detect the presence of any defect. A total of 36 of the 47 (77%) defects were seen. Of those defects in the lower lobes, 16 of 22 (73%) were visible. All the defects in the left lung (n = 21) were visible, while 15 of 26 (58%) of the defects on the right were visible. In the lower lobe of the right lung, 4 of 10 defects were visible. The defects that were not visible were all in the right lung. We conclude that absolute size and location are critical in the perception of defects. The perception of defects was dependent on absolute defect size rather than the proportion of a segment involved. Defects less than 3% of the volume of a lung were not detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-733
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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