Purpose: Prior iterative reconstruction (PIR) spatially registers CT image data from multiple phases of enhancement to reduce image noise. We evaluated PIR in contrast-enhanced multiphase liver CT. Methods: Patients with archived projection CT data with proven malignant or benign liver lesions, or without lesions, by reference criteria were included. Lower-dose PIR images were reconstructed using validated noise insertion from multiphase CT exams (50% dose in 2 phases, 25% dose in 1 phase). The phase of enhancement most relevant to the diagnostic task was selected for evaluation. Four radiologists reviewed routine-dose and lower-dose PIR images, circumscribing liver lesions and rating confidence for malignancy (0 to 100) and image quality. JAFROC Figures of Merit (FOM) were calculated. Results: 31 patients had 60 liver lesions (28 primary hepatic malignancies, 6 hepatic metastases, 26 benign lesions). Pooled JAFROC FOM for malignancy for routine-dose CT was 0.615 (95% CI 0.464, 0.767) compared to 0.662 for PIR (95% CI 0.527, 0.797). The estimated FOM difference between the routine-dose and lower-dose PIR images was + 0.047 (95% CI − 0.023, + 0.116). Pooled sensitivity/specificity for routine-dose images was 70%/68% compared to 73%/66% for lower-dose PIR. Lower-dose PIR had lower diagnostic image quality (mean 3.8 vs. 4.2, p = 0.0009) and sharpness (mean 2.3 vs. 2.0, p = 0.0071). Conclusions: PIR is a promising method to reduce radiation dose for multiphase abdominal CT, preserving observer performance despite small reductions in image quality. Further work is warranted.
- Iterative reconstruction
- Liver neoplasms
- Radiation dosage
- Tomography, X-ray computed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging