Objective: To compare quantitative measures of image quality, in terms of CT number accuracy, noise, signal-to-noise-ratios (SNRs), and contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs), at different dose levels with filtered-back-projection (FBP), iterative reconstruction (IR), and model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) alone and in combination with orthopedic metal artifact reduction (O-MAR) in a total hip arthroplasty (THA) phantom.
Materials and methods: Scans were acquired from high- to low-dose (CTDIvol: 40.0, 32.0, 24.0, 16.0, 8.0, and 4.0 mGy) at 120- and 140- kVp. Images were reconstructed using FBP, IR (iDose4 level 2, 4, and 6) and MBIR (IMR, level 1, 2, and 3) with and without O-MAR. CT number accuracy in Hounsfield Units (HU), noise or standard deviation, SNRs, and CNRs were analyzed.
Results: The IMR technique showed lower noise levels (p < 0.01), higher SNRs (p < 0.001) and CNRs (p < 0.001) compared with FBP and iDose4 in all acquisitions from high- to low-dose with constant CT numbers. O-MAR reduced noise (p < 0.01) and improved SNRs (p < 0.01) and CNRs (p < 0.001) while improving CT number accuracy only at a low dose. At the low dose of 4.0 mGy, IMR level 1, 2, and 3 showed 83%, 89%, and 95% lower noise values, a factor 6.0, 9.2, and 17.9 higher SNRs, and 5.7, 8.8, and 18.2 higher CNRs compared with FBP respectively.
Conclusions: Based on quantitative analysis of CT number accuracy, noise values, SNRs, and CNRs, we conclude that the combined use of IMR and O-MAR enables a reduction in radiation dose of 83% compared with FBP and iDose4 in the CT imaging of a THA phantom.
- Computed tomography
- Metal artifacts
- Model-based iterative reconstruction
- Quantitative analysis
- Radiation dose reduction
- Total hip arthroplasty phantom