Computed tomography (CT) is a useful and widely employed imaging technique, which represents the largest source of population exposure to ionizing radiation in industrialized countries. Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASIR) is an iterative reconstruction algorithm with the potential to allow reduction of radiation exposure while preserving diagnostic information. The aim of this phantom study was to assess the performance of ASIR, in terms of a number of image quality indices, when different reconstruction blending levels are employed. CT images of the Catphan-504 phantom were reconstructed using conventional filtered back-projection (FBP) and ASIR with reconstruction blending levels of 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100%. Noise, noise power spectrum (NPS), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and modulation transfer function (MTF) were estimated for different scanning parameters and contrast objects. Noise decreased and CNR increased non-linearly up to 50 and 100%, respectively, with increasing blending level of reconstruction. Also, ASIR has proven to modify the NPS curve shape. The MTF of ASIR reconstructed images depended on tube load/contrast and decreased with increasing blending level of reconstruction. In particular, for low radiation exposure and low contrast acquisitions, ASIR showed lower performance than FBP, in terms of spatial resolution for all blending levels of reconstruction. CT image quality varies substantially with the blending level of reconstruction. ASIR has the potential to reduce noise whilst maintaining diagnostic information in low radiation exposure CT imaging. Given the opposite variation of CNR and spatial resolution with the blending level of reconstruction, it is recommended to use an optimal value of this parameter for each specific clinical application.
Australasian Physical & Engineering Sciences in Medicine – Springer Journals
Published: May 8, 2018
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