Assessment of Filtered Back Projection, Adaptive Statistical, and Model-Based Iterative Reconstruction for Reduced Dose Abdominal Computed Tomography

J Comput Assist Tomogr. Jul-Aug 2015;39(4):462-7. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000231.


Purpose: To compare standard of care and reduced dose (RD) abdominal computed tomography (CT) images reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR), model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) techniques.

Materials and methods: In an Institutional Review Board-approved, prospective clinical study, 28 patients (mean age 59 ± 13 years ), undergoing clinically indicated routine abdominal CT on a 64-channel multi-detector CT scanner, gave written informed consent for acquisition of an additional RD (<1 milli-Sievert) abdomen CT series. Sinogram data of RD series were reconstructed with FBP, ASIR, and MBIR and compared with FBP images of standard dose abdomen CT. Two radiologists performed randomized, independent, and blinded comparison for lesion detection, lesion margin, visibility of normal structures, and diagnostic confidence.

Results: Mean CT dose index volume was 10 ± 3.4 mGy and 1.3 ± 0.3 mGy for standard and RD CT, respectively. There were 73 "true positive" lesions detected on standard of care CT. Nine lesions (<8 mm in size) were missed on RD abdominal CT images which included liver lesions, liver cysts, kidney cysts, and paracolonic abscess. These lesions were missed regardless of patient size and types of iterative reconstruction techniques used for reconstruction of RD data sets. The visibility of lesion margin was suboptimal in (23/28) patients with RD FBP, (15/28) patients with RD ASIR, and (14/28) patients with RD MBIR compared to standard of care FBP images (P < 0.001). Diagnostic confidence for the assessment of lesions on RD images was suboptimal in most patients regardless of iterative reconstruction techniques.

Conclusions: Clinically significant lesions (< 8 mm) can be missed on abdominal CT examinations acquired at a CT dose index volume of 1.3 mGy regardless of patients' size and reconstruction techniques (FBP, ASIR, and MBIR).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iopamidol
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Observer Variation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Radiography, Abdominal*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Iopamidol