Image quality assurance in the prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screening trial network of the National Lung Screening Trial.
Moore SM, Gierada DS, Clark KW, Blaine GJ, PLCO-NLST Quality Assurance Working Group
The National Lung Screening Trial is evaluating the effectiveness of low-dose spiral CT and conventional chest X-ray as screening tests for persons who are at high risk for developing lung cancer. This multicenter trial requires quality assurance (QA) for the image quality and technical parameters of the scans. The electronic system described here helps manage the QA process. The system includes a workstation at each screening center that de-identifies the data, a DICOM storage service at the QA Coordinating Center, and Web-based systems for presenting images and QA evaluation forms to the QA radiologists. Quality assurance data are collated and analyzed by an independent statistical organization. We describe the design and implementation of this electronic QA system, emphasizing issues relating to data security and privacy, the various obstacles encountered in the installation of a common system at different participating screening centers, and the functional success of the system deployed.