Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare observer performance for detection of intestinal inflammation for low-dose CT enterography (LD-CTE) using scanner-based iterative reconstruction (IR) vs. vendor-independent, adaptive image-based noise reduction (ANLM) or filtered back projection (FBP).
Methods: Sixty-two LD-CTE exams were performed. LD-CTE images were reconstructed using IR, ANLM, and FBP. Three readers, blinded to image type, marked intestinal inflammation directly on patient images using a specialized workstation over three sessions, interpreting one image type/patient/session. Reference standard was created by a gastroenterologist and radiologist, who reviewed all available data including dismissal Gastroenterology records, and who marked all inflamed bowel segments on the same workstation. Reader and reference localizations were then compared. Non-inferiority was tested using Jackknife free-response ROC (JAFROC) figures of merit (FOM) for ANLM and FBP compared to IR. Patient-level analyses for the presence or absence of inflammation were also conducted.
Results: There were 46 inflamed bowel segments in 24/62 patients (CTDIvol interquartile range 6.9–10.1 mGy). JAFROC FOM for ANLM and FBP were 0.84 (95% CI 0.75–0.92) and 0.84 (95% CI 0.75–0.92), and were statistically non-inferior to IR (FOM 0.84; 95% CI 0.76–0.93). Patient-level pooled confidence intervals for sensitivity widely overlapped, as did specificities. Image quality was rated as better with IR and AMLM compared to FBP (p < 0.0001), with no difference in reading times (p = 0.89).
Conclusions: Vendor-independent adaptive image-based noise reduction and FBP provided observer performance that was non-inferior to scanner-based IR methods. Adaptive image-based noise reduction maintained or improved upon image quality ratings compared to FBP when performing CTE at lower dose levels.
- Crohn’s disease
- Iterative reconstruction
- Radiation dose
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology