Chest computed tomography using iterative reconstruction vs filtered back projection (Part 1): Evaluation of image noise reduction in 32 patients

Eur Radiol. 2011 Mar;21(3):627-35. doi: 10.1007/s00330-010-1990-5. Epub 2010 Nov 5.


Objective: To assess noise reduction achievable with an iterative reconstruction algorithm.

Methods: 32 consecutive chest CT angiograms were reconstructed with regular filtered back projection (FBP) (Group 1) and an iterative reconstruction technique (IRIS) with 3 (Group 2a) and 5 (Group 2b) iterations.

Results: Objective image noise was significantly reduced in Group 2a and Group 2b compared with FBP (p < 0.0001). There was a significant reduction in the level of subjective image noise in Group 2a compared with Group 1 images (p < 0.003), further reinforced on Group 2b images (Group 2b vs Group 1; p < 0.0001) (Group 2b vs Group 2a; p = 0.0006). The overall image quality scores significantly improved on Group 2a images compared with Group 1 images (p = 0.0081) and on Group 2b images compared with Group 2a images (p < 0.0001). Comparative analysis of individual CT features of mild lung infiltration showed improved conspicuity of ground glass attenuation (p < 0.0001), ill-defined micronodules (p = 0.0351) and emphysematous lesions (p < 0.0001) on Group 2a images, further improved on Group 2b images for ground glass attenuation (p < 0.0001), and emphysematous lesions (p = 0.0087).

Conclusion: Compared with regular FBP, iterative reconstructions enable significant reduction of image noise without loss of diagnostic information, thus having the potential to decrease radiation dose during chest CT examinations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiography, Thoracic / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*