The purpose of this phantom study was to investigate the feasibility of dose reduction with hybrid iterative reconstruction, with and without a noise power spectrum (NPS) model, using both quantitative and qualitative evaluations. Standard dose (SD), three-quarter dose (TQD), and half-dose (HD) of radiation were used. Images were reconstructed with filtered back projection (FBP), adaptive iterative dose reduction 3D (AIDR 3D) (MILD, STR), and AIDR 3D enhanced (eAIDR 3D) (eMILD, eSTR). An NPS analysis, task-based modulation transfer function (MTFtask) analysis, and comparisons of low-contrast detectability and image texture were performed. Although the eAIDR 3D had a higher NPS value in the high-frequency range and improved image texture and resolution as compared with AIDR 3D at the same radiation dose and iteration levels, it yielded higher noise than AIDR 3D. Additionally, although there was no statistically significant difference between SD-FBP and the TQD series in the comparison of the mean area under the curve (AUC), the mean AUC was statistically significantly different between SD-FBP and the HD series. NPS values in the high-frequency range, 10% MTFtask values, low-contrast detectability, and image textures of TQD-eMILD were comparable to those of SD-FBP. Our findings suggested that using eMILD can reduce the radiation dose by 25%, while potentially maintaining diagnostic performance, spatial resolution, and image texture; this could support selecting the appropriate protocol in a clinical setting.
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