Research Article

Comparison between emission and transmission computed tomography of the liver.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: (Published 07 November 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1212
  1. O Khan,
  2. P J Ell,
  3. P H Jarritt,
  4. I D Cullum,
  5. E S Williams


    Emission computed tomography (emission CT) and conventional planar gamma-camera imaging of the liver were compared in 242 patients with suspected metastatic spread to liver. Concordant data were obtained in 171 patients (71%). Single large lesions, multiple small lesions, and diffuse disease were accurately defined with this new radionuclide tomographic technique. The smallest lesion detected by emission CT was 8 mm. Emission CT, planar gamma-camera imaging, and transmission (x-ray) CT were compared in 107 patients. All three methods gave identical results in 76 patients (71%). Assessed against other criteria, such as histological findings and follow-up data, emission CT yielded the highest range of accuracy (92-96%), while transmission CT and planar gamma-camera imaging had similar but lower accuracies (78-81%). Emission CT had a false-positive rate of 2.8% and a false-negative rate of less than 1%. Thus emission CT is highly sensitive in detecting space-occupying disease in the liver.