The use of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR) technique in evaluation of patients with cervical spine trauma: impact on radiation dose reduction and image quality

Br J Radiol. 2016;89(1060):20150082. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20150082. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR) technique on the image quality and radiation dose reduction. The comparison was made with the traditional filtered back projection (FBP) technique.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 78 patients, who underwent cervical spine CT for blunt cervical trauma between 1 June 2010 and 30 November 2010. 48 patients were imaged using traditional FBP technique and the remaining 30 patients were imaged using the ASiR technique. The patient demographics, radiation dose, objective image signal and noise were recorded; while subjective noise, sharpness, diagnostic acceptability and artefacts were graded by two radiologists blinded to the techniques.

Results: We found that the ASiR technique was able to reduce the volume CT dose index, dose-length product and effective dose by 36%, 36.5% and 36.5%, respectively, compared with the FBP technique. There was no significant difference in the image noise (p = 0.39), signal (p = 0.82) and signal-to-noise ratio (p = 0.56) between the groups. The subjective image quality was minimally better in the ASiR group but not statistically significant. There was excellent interobserver agreement on the subjective image quality and diagnostic acceptability for both groups.

Conclusion: The use of ASiR technique allowed approximately 36% radiation dose reduction in the evaluation of cervical spine without degrading the image quality.

Advances in knowledge: The present study highlights that the ASiR technique is extremely helpful in reducing the patient radiation exposure while maintaining the image quality. It is highly recommended to utilize this novel technique in CT imaging of different body regions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Spinal Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Young Adult