Objective: To evaluate a method for obtaining half-dose CT images for observer studies evaluating lower-dose CT.
Methods: Phantoms of varying sizes were scanned at multiple tube potentials using dose-matched dual-source (DS) and single-source (SS) protocols. Images from single-tube reconstruction of DS data were compared with SS images acquired at half-original CTDIvol. Thirty patients underwent supine SS and dose-matched prone DS CT colonography (CTC). Half-dose prone images were reconstructed with sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE). Two radiologists scored image quality on 2-dimensional (2D) and 3D images.
Results: Image noise was similar between half-dose SS images and DS images reconstructed from one tube only with tube potential of 120 kV or more for phantoms 40 cm or smaller (P < 0.05). For both readers, the patients’ CTC image quality scores were more than 84% concordant between SS or DS CTC images, and half-dose–prone CTC images with SAFIRE had 84% or more concordance with routine-dose CTC except for 3D image noise.
Conclusions: In appropriately sized patients, DS acquisition with single-tube reconstruction can create half-dose images, permitting comparison to full-dose images. For CTC, there is comparable image quality for colonic evaluation between full-dose and half-dose images reconstructed with SAFIRE.