Image quality in coronary computed tomography angiography: influence of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction at various radiation dose levels.Acta Radiol. 2018 Oct; 59(10):1194-1202.AR
Background Computed tomography (CT) technology is rapidly evolving and software solution developed to optimize image quality and/or lower radiation dose. Purpose To investigate the influence of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) at different radiation doses in coronary CT angiography (CCTA) in detailed image quality. Material and Methods A total of 160 CCTA were reconstructed as follows: 55 scans with filtered back projection (FBP) (650 mA), 51 scans (455 mA) with 30% ASIR (ASIR30), and 54 scans (295 mA) with 60% ASIR (ASIR60). For each reconstruction, subjective image quality was assessed by five independent certified cardiologists using a visual grading analysis (VGA) with five predefined image quality criteria consisting of a 5-point scale. Objective measures were contrast, noise, and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Results The CTDIvol resulted in 10.3 mGy, 7.4 mGy, and 4.6 mGy for FBP, ASIR30, and ASIR60, respectively. Homogeneity of the left ventricular lumen was the sole aspect in which reconstruction algorithms differed with a decreasing effect for ASIR60 compared to FBP (estimated odds ratio [OR] = 0.49 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.32-0.76; P = 0.001]). Decreased sharpness and spatial- and low-contrast resolutions were observed when using ASIR instead of FBP, but differences were not statistically significant. Concerning objective measurements, noise increased significantly for ASIR30 (OR = 1.08; 95% CI = 1.02-1.14; P = 0.006) and ASIR60 (OR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.01-1.12; P = 0.034) compared to FBP. Conclusion ASIR significantly decreased the subjectively assessed homogeneity of the left ventricular lumen and increased the objectively measured noise compared to FBP. Considering these results, ASIR at a reduced radiation dose should be implemented with caution.