A cross-platform survey of CT image quality and dose from routine abdomen protocols and a method to systematically standardize image quality

Christopher P. Favazza, Xinhui Duan, Yi Zhang, Lifeng Yu, Shuai Leng, James M. Kofler, Michael R. Bruesewitz, Cynthia H McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Through this investigation we developed a methodology to evaluate and standardize CT image quality from routine abdomen protocols across different manufacturers and models. The influence of manufacturer-specific automated exposure control systems on image quality was directly assessed to standardize performance across a range of patient sizes. We evaluated 16 CT scanners across our health system, including Siemens, GE, and Toshiba models. Using each practice's routine abdomen protocol, we measured spatial resolution, image noise, and scanner radiation output (CTDIvol). Axial and in-plane spatial resolutions were assessed through slice sensitivity profile (SSP) and modulation transfer function (MTF) measurements, respectively. Image noise and CTDIvol values were obtained for three different phantom sizes. SSP measurements demonstrated a bimodal distribution in slice widths: an average of 6.2 ± 0.2 mm using GE's 'Plus' mode reconstruction setting and 5.0 ± 0.1 mm for all other scanners. MTF curves were similar for all scanners. Average spatial frequencies at 50%, 10%, and 2% MTF values were 3.24 ± 0.37, 6.20 ± 0.34, and 7.84 ± 0.70 lp cm-1, respectively. For all phantom sizes, image noise and CTDIvol varied considerably: 6.5-13.3 HU (noise) and 4.8-13.3 mGy (CTDIvol) for the smallest phantom; 9.1-18.4 HU and 9.3-28.8 mGy for the medium phantom; and 7.8-23.4 HU and 16.0-48.1 mGy for the largest phantom. Using these measurements and benchmark SSP, MTF, and image noise targets, CT image quality can be standardized across a range of patient sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8381-8397
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume60
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 13 2015

Keywords

  • automatic exposure control
  • CT
  • image noise
  • protocol standardization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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