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Title: Statistical model based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) in clinical CT systems: Experimental assessment of noise performance

Purpose: To reduce radiation dose in CT imaging, the statistical model based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) method has been introduced for clinical use. Based on the principle of MBIR and its nonlinear nature, the noise performance of MBIR is expected to be different from that of the well-understood filtered backprojection (FBP) reconstruction method. The purpose of this work is to experimentally assess the unique noise characteristics of MBIR using a state-of-the-art clinical CT system. Methods: Three physical phantoms, including a water cylinder and two pediatric head phantoms, were scanned in axial scanning mode using a 64-slice CT scanner (Discovery CT750 HD, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) at seven different mAs levels (5, 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300). At each mAs level, each phantom was repeatedly scanned 50 times to generate an image ensemble for noise analysis. Both the FBP method with a standard kernel and the MBIR method (Veo{sup ®}, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) were used for CT image reconstruction. Three-dimensional (3D) noise power spectrum (NPS), two-dimensional (2D) NPS, and zero-dimensional NPS (noise variance) were assessed both globally and locally. Noise magnitude, noise spatial correlation, noise spatial uniformity and their dose dependence were examined for the two reconstruction methods. Results: (1)more » At each dose level and at each frequency, the magnitude of the NPS of MBIR was smaller than that of FBP. (2) While the shape of the NPS of FBP was dose-independent, the shape of the NPS of MBIR was strongly dose-dependent; lower dose lead to a “redder” NPS with a lower mean frequency value. (3) The noise standard deviation (σ) of MBIR and dose were found to be related through a power law of σ ∝ (dose){sup −β} with the component β ≈ 0.25, which violated the classical σ ∝ (dose){sup −0.5} power law in FBP. (4) With MBIR, noise reduction was most prominent for thin image slices. (5) MBIR lead to better noise spatial uniformity when compared with FBP. (6) A composite image generated from two MBIR images acquired at two different dose levels (D1 and D2) demonstrated lower noise than that of an image acquired at a dose level of D1+D2. Conclusions: The noise characteristics of the MBIR method are significantly different from those of the FBP method. The well known tradeoff relationship between CT image noise and radiation dose has been modified by MBIR to establish a more gradual dependence of noise on dose. Additionally, some other CT noise properties that had been well understood based on the linear system theory have also been altered by MBIR. Clinical CT scan protocols that had been optimized based on the classical CT noise properties need to be carefully re-evaluated for systems equipped with MBIR in order to maximize the method's potential clinical benefits in dose reduction and/or in CT image quality improvement.« less
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 (United States)
  2. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 and Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53792 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States