Article Abstract

Improved image quality of low-dose CT combining with iterative model reconstruction algorithm for response assessment in patients after treatment of malignant tumor

Authors: Xiaoyan Xin, Jingtao Shen, Shangwen Yang, Song Liu, Anning Hu, Bin Zhu, Yan Jiang, Baoxin Li, Bing Zhang

Abstract

Background: To evaluate the image quality and radiation dose of low-dose (LD) computed tomography (LD-CT) combining with iterative model reconstruction (IMR) algorithm for response assessment in patients after treatment of malignant tumor compared with routine-dose CT (RD-CT).
Methods: Forty-seven patients [mean age 57.8±10.9 years, 30 males, body mass index (BMI) 22.09±2.35 kg/m2] after treatment of malignant tumor underwent contrast-enhanced chest and abdomen CT twice for response assessment with an interval of 6 months according to clinical routine. The first CT scans were performed with RD protocol at 120 kVp and images were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP) algorithm; while the second scans were performed with LD protocol at 100 kVp and images were reconstructed with FBP and IMR algorithm respectively. All scans were performed using an automatic tube current modulation technique with 150 mAs as reference. Objective image quality including CT attenuation, image noise, and contrast to noise ratio (CNR), and subjective image quality including artifacts, noise, visualization of small structures and confidence of targeted lesions, as well as lesion detection were assessed and compared.
Results: Effective radiation dose of LD-CT scans was reduced 54.8% compared to RD-CT scans (26.89±3.35 vs. 12.14±2.09 mSv). Higher CT attenuation was found in both LD-IMR and LD-FBP images compared to RD-FBP images. Better subjective image quality and CNR as well as lower objective noise were found in LD-IMR images (all, P<0.05). Two small lesions with the diameter less than 1 cm were missed in LD-FBP images, which were able to be observed in LD-IMR images.
Conclusions: IMR is able to help more than half of reduction of radiation dose without compromising the quality of diagnostic information in patients after treatment of malignant tumors to chest and abdomen CT for response assessment.