Assessment of Low-Contrast Resolution for the American College of Radiology Computed Tomographic Accreditation Program: What Is the Impact of Iterative Reconstruction?

James M. Kofler, Lifeng Yu, Shuai Leng, Yi Zhang, Zhoubo Li, Rickey E. Carter, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To compare contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) thresholds with visual assessment of low-contrast resolution (LCR) in filtered back projection (FBP) and iteratively reconstructed (IR) computed tomographic (CT) images. Methods American College of Radiology (ACR) CT accreditation phantom LCR images were acquired at CTDIvol levels of 8, 12, and 16 mGy using 2 scanner models and reconstructed using one FBP and 2 IR kernels. Acquisitions were repeated 100 times. Three board-certified medical physicists blindly reviewed the LCR section images. Pass-percentage rates (PPRs) using previous and current ACR CT accreditation criteria were compared. Results Observer PPRs for FBP images were less than 32%. For IR images, 5 of 18 settings/dose/model configurations had PPRs greater than 32% (maximum 76.3%). For CNR evaluation of FBP images, PPRs for 15 configurations were greater than 70%. For IR images, all PPRs were at least 96%. Conclusions The CNR threshold used by the ACR CT accreditation program yields higher PPRs than visual assessment of LCR, potentially resulting in lower-quality images passing the ACR CNR criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-623
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of computer assisted tomography
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 29 2015

Keywords

  • CT accreditation
  • computed tomography
  • iterative reconstruction
  • low-contrast resolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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