Article Abstract

Application of low-tube current with iterative model reconstruction on Philips Brilliance iCT Elite FHD in the accuracy of spinal QCT using a European spine phantom

Authors: Yan Wu, Yaojun Jiang, Xueli Han, Mingyue Wang, Jianbo Gao


Background: To investigate the repeatability and accuracy of quantitative CT (QCT) measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) by low-mAs using iterative model reconstruction (IMR) technique based on phantom model.
Methods: European spine phantom (ESP) was selected and measured on the Philips Brilliance iCT Elite FHD machine for 10 times. Data were transmitted to the QCT PRO workstation to measure BMD (mg/cm3) of the ESP (L1, L2, L3). Scanning method: the voltage of X-ray tube is 120 kV, the electric current of X-ray tube output in five respective groups A–E were: 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 mAs. Reconstruction: all data were reconstructed using filtered back projection (FBP), IR levels of hybrid iterative reconstruction (iDose4, levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 were used) and IMR (levels 1, 2, 3 were used). ROIs were placed in the middle of L1, L2 and L3 spine phantom in each group. CT values, noise and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were measured and calculated. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare BMD values of different mAs and different IMR.
Results: Radiation dose [volume CT dose index (CTDIvol) and dose length product (DLP)] was positively correlated with tube current. In L1 with low BMD, different mAs in FBP showed P<0.05, indicating statistically significant BMD in ESP. In other iterative algorithms, different mAs under same iterative algorithms showed P>0.05, indicating no difference in BMD. And P>0.05 was observed among BMD of spine phantom in L1, L2 and L3 under same mAs joined with varied iterative reconstruction. The BMD in L1 varied greatly during FBP reconstruction, and less variation was observed in reconstruction of IMR [1] and IMR [2]. The BMD of L2 changed more during FBP reconstruction, where less was observed in IMR [2]. The BMD of L3 varied greatly during FBP reconstruction, and was less varied in all levels of iDose4 and reconstruction of IMR [2]. In addition, along with continuous mAs incensement, the CNRs in various algorithms continued to increase. Among them, CNR with the FBP algorithm is the lowest, and CNR of the IMR [3] algorithm is the highest.
Conclusions: Repeated measurements of BMD with QCT in the ESP multicenter showed that BMD changes in L1–L3 are the least varied at IMR [2] algorithm. It is recommended to scan at 120 kV with 20 mAs combined with IMR [2] algorithm. In this way, the BMD of spine by QCT could be accurately measured, while radiation dosage significantly reduced and imaging quality improved at the same time.