Chest computed tomography using iterative reconstruction vs filtered back projection (Part 2): image quality of low-dose CT examinations in 80 patients

Eur Radiol. 2011 Mar;21(3):636-43. doi: 10.1007/s00330-010-1991-4. Epub 2010 Nov 16.


Purpose: To evaluate the image quality of an iterative reconstruction algorithm (IRIS) in low-dose chest CT in comparison with standard-dose filtered back projection (FBP) CT.

Materials and methods: Eighty consecutive patients referred for a follow-up chest CT examination of the chest, underwent a low-dose CT examination (Group 2) in similar technical conditions to those of the initial examination, (Group 1) except for the milliamperage selection and the replacement of regular FBP reconstruction by iterative reconstructions using three (Group 2a) and five iterations (Group 2b).

Results: Despite a mean decrease of 35.5% in the dose-length-product, there was no statistically significant difference between Group 2a and Group 1 in the objective noise, signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise (CNR) ratios and distribution of the overall image quality scores. Compared to Group 1, objective image noise in Group 2b was significantly reduced with increased SNR and CNR and a trend towards improved image quality.

Conclusion: Iterative reconstructions using three iterations provide similar image quality compared with the conventionally used FBP reconstruction at 35% less dose, thus enabling dose reduction without loss of diagnostic information. According to our preliminary results, even higher dose reductions than 35% may be feasible by using more than three iterations.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Body Burden*
  • 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*