Index of content:
Volume 40, Issue 11, November 2013
Volume quantifications of lung nodules with multidetector computed tomography (CT) images provide useful information for monitoring nodule developments. The accuracy and precision of the volume quantification, however, can be impacted by imaging and reconstruction parameters. This study aimed to investigate the impact of iterative reconstruction algorithms on the accuracy and precision of volume quantification with dose and slice thickness as additional variables.Methods:
Repeated CT images were acquired from an anthropomorphic chest phantom with synthetic nodules (9.5 and 4.8 mm) at six dose levels, and reconstructed with three reconstruction algorithms [filtered backprojection (FBP), adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASiR), and model based iterative reconstruction (MBIR)] into three slice thicknesses. The nodule volumes were measured with two clinical software (A: Lung VCAR, B: iNtuition), and analyzed for accuracy and precision.Results:
Precision was found to be generally comparable between FBP and iterative reconstruction with no statistically significant difference noted for different dose levels, slice thickness, and segmentation software. Accuracy was found to be more variable. For large nodules, the accuracy was significantly different between ASiR and FBP for all slice thicknesses with both software, and significantly different between MBIR and FBP for 0.625 mm slice thickness with Software A and for all slice thicknesses with Software B. For small nodules, the accuracy was more similar between FBP and iterative reconstruction, with the exception of ASIR vs FBP at 1.25 mm with Software A and MBIR vs FBP at 0.625 mm with Software A.Conclusions:
The systematic difference between the accuracy of FBP and iterative reconstructions highlights the importance of extending current segmentation software to accommodate the image characteristics of iterative reconstructions. In addition, a calibration process may help reduce the dependency of accuracy on reconstruction algorithms, such that volumes quantified from scans of different reconstruction algorithms can be compared. The little difference found between the precision of FBP and iterative reconstructions could be a result of both iterative reconstruction's diminished noise reduction at the edge of the nodules as well as the loss of resolution at high noise levels with iterative reconstruction. The findings do not rule out potential advantage of IR that might be evident in a study that uses a larger number of nodules or repeated scans.