Data Management Solution for Large-Volume Computed Tomography in an Existing Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
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Multidetector row computed tomography (MDCT) creates massive amounts of data, which can overload a picture archiving and communication system (PACS). To solve this problem, we designed a new data storage and image interpretation system in an existing PACS. Two MDCT image datasets, a thick- and a thin-section dataset, and a single-detector CT thick-section dataset were reconstructed. The thin-section dataset was archived in existing PACS disk space reserved for temporary storage, and the system overwrote the source data to preserve available disk space. The thick-section datasets were archived permanently. Multiplanar reformation (MPR) images were reconstructed from the stored thin-section datasets on the PACS workstation. In regular interpretations by eight radiologists during the same week, the volume of images and the times taken for interpretation of thick-section images with (246 CT examinations) or without (170 CT examinations) thin-section images were recorded, and the diagnostic usefulness of the thin-section images was evaluated. Thin-section datasets and MPR images were used in 79% and 18% of cases, respectively. The radiologists’ assessments of this system were useful, though the volume of images and times taken to archive, retrieve, and interpret thick-section images together with thin-section images were significantly greater than the times taken without thin-section images. The limitations were compensated for by the usefulness of thin-section images. This data storage and image interpretation system improves the storage and availability of the thin-section datasets of MDCT and can prevent overloading problems in an existing PACS for the moment.
Key wordsCT MDCT PACS computer applications
The authors thank Mr. C. W. P. Reynolds for his careful correction of this manuscript.
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