To determine whether an iterative reconstruction (IR) technique (iDose, Philips Healthcare) can reduce image noise and improve image quality in obese patients undergoing computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA).
The study was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant and approved by our institutional review board. A total of 33 obese patients (average body mass index: 42.7) underwent CTPA studies following standard departmental protocols. The data were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) and 3 iDose strengths (iDoseL1, iDoseL3, and iDoseL5) for a total of 132 studies. FBP data were collected from 33 controls (average body mass index: 22) undergoing CTPA. Regions of interest were drawn at 6 identical levels in the pulmonary artery (PA), from the main PA to a subsegmental branch, in both the control group and study groups using each algorithm. Noise and attenuation were measured at all PA levels. Three thoracic radiologists graded each study on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (ideal) by 4 categories: image quality, noise, PA enhancement, and “plastic” appearance. Statistical analysis was performed using an unpaired t test, 1-way analysis of variance, and linear weighted κ.
Compared with the control group, there was significantly higher noise with FBP, iDoseL1, and iDoseL3 algorithms (P<0.001) in the study group. There was no significant difference between the noise in the control group and iDoseL5 algorithm in the study group. Analysis within the study group showed a significant and progressive decrease in noise and increase in the contrast-to-noise ratio as the level of IR was increased (P<0.001). Compared with FBP, readers graded overall image quality as being higher using iDoseL1 (P=0.0018), iDoseL3 (P<0.001), and iDoseL5 (P<0.001). Compared with FBP, there was subjective improvement in image noise and PA enhancement with increasing levels of iDose.
The use of an IR technique leads to qualitative and quantitative improvements in image noise and image quality in obese patients undergoing CTPA.
*Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
†Philips Healthcare, Highland Heights, OH
Dhruv Mehta is a research scientist for Philips Healthcare. He was not involved in data collection or analysis. The remaining authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Seth Kligerman, MD, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 South Greene St, Baltimore, MD 21201 (e-mail: email@example.com).