Limits to dose reduction from iterative reconstruction and the effect of through-slice blurring

Scott S. Hsieh, Norbert J. Pelc

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


Iterative reconstruction methods have become very popular and show the potential to reduce dose. We present a limit to the maximum dose reduction possible with new reconstruction algorithms obtained by analyzing the information content of the raw data, assuming the reconstruction algorithm does not have a priori knowledge about the object or correlations between pixels. This limit applies to the task of estimating the density of a lesion embedded in a known background object, where the shape of the lesion is known but its density is not. Under these conditions, the density of the lesion can be estimated directly from the raw data in an optimal manner. This optimal estimate will meet or outperform the performance of any reconstruction method operating on the raw data, under the condition that the reconstruction method does not introduce a priori information. The raw data bound can be compared to the lesion density estimate from FBP in order to produce a limit on the dose reduction possible from new reconstruction algorithms. The possible dose reduction from iterative reconstruction varies with the object, but for a lesion embedded in the center of a water cylinder, it is less than 40%. Additionally, comparisons between iterative reconstruction and filtered backprojection are sometimes confounded by the effect of through-slice blurring in the iterative reconstruction. We analyzed the magnitude of the variance reduction brought about by through-slice blurring on scanners from two different vendors and found it to range between 11% and 48%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2016
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
EditorsDespina Kontos, Joseph Y. Lo, Thomas G. Flohr
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600188
StatePublished - 2016
EventMedical Imaging 2016: Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 28 2016Mar 2 2016

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2016: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • dose reduction
  • iterative reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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