The objective of this study was to compare image quality (objective and subjective parameters) and confidence in lesion detection between 3 image reconstruction algorithms in computed tomographic (CT) examinations of the abdomen/pelvis.
Materials and Methods
This prospective institutional review board–approved study included 65 patients (mean [SD] age, 71.3 ± 9 years; mean [SD] body mass index, 24.4 [4.8] kg) who underwent routine CT examinations of the abdomen/pelvis followed immediately by 2 low-dose scans. Raw data sets were reconstructed by using filtered back projection (FBP), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), and a model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR). Measurements of objective noise and CT numbers were compared using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Six subjective image quality parameters were scored. Diagnostic confidence and accuracy in detection of various elementary lesions were performed.
Objectively, mean image noise for MBIR was significantly superior at all dose levels (P < 0.001). Subjectively, standard-dose ASIR and low-dose MBIR scans were better than standard-dose FBP scan in all parameters assessed (P < 0.05). Low-dose MBIR scans were comparable with standard-dose ASIR scans in all parameters except at noise index of 70 (approximately 85% dose reduction), where, in this case, the detection of liver lesions less than 5 mm were rated inferior (P < 0.05) with diagnostic accuracy reducing to 77.4%.
Low-dose MBIR scan shows superior objective noise reduction compared with standard-dose FBP and ASIR. Subjectively, low-dose MBIR scans at 76% dose reduction were also superior compared with standard-dose FBP and ASIR. However, at dose reductions of 85%, small liver lesions may be missed.