OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to evaluate the radiation dose reduction potential of a novel image-based denoising technique in pediatric abdominopelvic and chest CT examinations and compare it with a commercial iterative reconstruction method. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Data were retrospectively collected from 50 (25 abdominopelvic and 25 chest) clinically indicated pediatric CT examinations. For each examination, a validated noise-insertion tool was used to simulate half-dose data, which were reconstructed using filtered back-projection (FBP) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) methods. A newly developed denoising technique, adaptive nonlocal means (aNLM), was also applied. For each of the 50 patients, three pediatric radiologists evaluated four datasets: full dose plus FBP, half dose plus FBP, half dose plus SAFIRE, and half dose plus aNLM. For each examination, the order of preference for the four datasets was ranked. The organ-specific diagnosis and diagnostic confidence for five primary organs were recorded. RESULTS. The mean (± SD) volume CT dose index for the full-dose scan was 5.3 ± 2.1 mGy for abdominopelvic examinations and 2.4 ± 1.1 mGy for chest examinations. For abdominopelvic examinations, there was no statistically significant difference between the half dose plus aNLM dataset and the full dose plus FBP dataset (3.6 ± 1.0 vs 3.6 ± 0.9, respectively; p = 0.52), and aNLM performed better than SAFIRE. For chest examinations, there was no statistically significant difference between the half dose plus SAFIRE and the full dose plus FBP (4.1 ± 0.6 vs 4.2 ± 0.6, respectively; p = 0.67), and SAFIRE performed better than aNLM. For all organs, there was more than 85% agreement in organ-specific diagnosis among the three half-dose configurations and the full dose plus FBP configuration. CONCLUSION. Although a novel image-based denoising technique performed better than a commercial iterative reconstruction method in pediatric abdominopelvic CT examinations, it performed worse in pediatric chest CT examinations. A 50% dose reduction can be achieved while maintaining diagnostic quality.
- CT protocol optimization
- Pediatric CT
- Radiation dose reduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging