Comparison of a Deep Learning-Based Reconstruction Algorithm with Filtered Back Projection and Iterative Reconstruction Algorithms for Pediatric Abdominopelvic CT

Korean J Radiol. 2022 May 27. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2021.0466. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To compare a deep learning-based reconstruction (DLR) algorithm for pediatric abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT) with filtered back projection (FBP) and iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Post-contrast abdominopelvic CT scans obtained from 120 pediatric patients (mean age ± standard deviation, 8.7 ± 5.2 years; 60 males) between May 2020 and October 2020 were evaluated in this retrospective study. Images were reconstructed using FBP, a hybrid IR algorithm (ASiR-V) with blending factors of 50% and 100% (AV50 and AV100, respectively), and a DLR algorithm (TrueFidelity) with three strength levels (low, medium, and high). Noise power spectrum (NPS) and edge rise distance (ERD) were used to evaluate noise characteristics and spatial resolution, respectively. Image noise, edge definition, overall image quality, lesion detectability and conspicuity, and artifacts were qualitatively scored by two pediatric radiologists, and the scores of the two reviewers were averaged. A repeated-measures analysis of variance followed by the Bonferroni post-hoc test was used to compare NPS and ERD among the six reconstruction methods. The Friedman rank sum test followed by the Nemenyi-Wilcoxon-Wilcox all-pairs test was used to compare the results of the qualitative visual analysis among the six reconstruction methods.

RESULTS: The NPS noise magnitude of AV100 was significantly lower than that of the DLR, whereas the NPS peak of AV100 was significantly higher than that of the high- and medium-strength DLR (p < 0.001). The NPS average spatial frequencies were higher for DLR than for ASiR-V (p < 0.001). ERD was shorter with DLR than with ASiR-V and FBP (p < 0.001). Qualitative visual analysis revealed better overall image quality with high-strength DLR than with ASiR-V (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: For pediatric abdominopelvic CT, the DLR algorithm may provide improved noise characteristics and better spatial resolution than the hybrid IR algorithm.

PMID:35695313 | DOI:10.3348/kjr.2021.0466


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