Purpose: To retrospectively compare image quality and radiation dose between a reduced-dose computed tomographic (CT) protocol that uses model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) and a standard-dose CT protocol that uses 30% adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) with filtered back projection.
Materials and methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained. Clinical CT images of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis obtained with a reduced-dose protocol were identified. Images were reconstructed with two algorithms: MBIR and 100% ASIR. All subjects had undergone standard-dose CT within the prior year, and the images were reconstructed with 30% ASIR. Reduced- and standard-dose images were evaluated objectively and subjectively. Reduced-dose images were evaluated for lesion detectability. Spatial resolution was assessed in a phantom. Radiation dose was estimated by using volumetric CT dose index (CTDI(vol)) and calculated size-specific dose estimates (SSDE). A combination of descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and t tests was used for statistical analysis.
Results: In the 25 patients who underwent the reduced-dose protocol, mean decrease in CTDI(vol) was 46% (range, 19%-65%) and mean decrease in SSDE was 44% (range, 19%-64%). Reduced-dose MBIR images had less noise (P > .004). Spatial resolution was superior for reduced-dose MBIR images. Reduced-dose MBIR images were equivalent to standard-dose images for lungs and soft tissues (P > .05) but were inferior for bones (P = .004). Reduced-dose 100% ASIR images were inferior for soft tissues (P < .002), lungs (P < .001), and bones (P < .001). By using the same reduced-dose acquisition, lesion detectability was better (38% [32 of 84 rated lesions]) or the same (62% [52 of 84 rated lesions]) with MBIR as compared with 100% ASIR.
Conclusion: CT performed with a reduced-dose protocol and MBIR is feasible in the pediatric population, and it maintains diagnostic quality.
© RSNA, 2013