Prior iterative reconstruction (PIR) uses spatial information from one phase of enhancement to reduce image noise in other phases. We sought to determine if PIR could reduce radiation dose while preserving observer performance and CT number at multi-phase dual energy (DE) renal CT.

CT projection data from multi-phase DE renal CT examinations were collected. Images corresponding to 40% radiation dose were reconstructed using validated noise insertion and PIR. Three genitourinary radiologists examined routine and 40% dose PIR images. Probability of malignancy was assessed [from 0 to 100] with malignancy assumed at probability ≥ 75. Observer performance was compared on a per patient and per lesion level. CT number accuracy was measured.

Twenty-three patients had 49 renal lesions (11 solid renal neoplasms). CT number was nearly identical between techniques (mean CT number difference: unenhanced 2 ± 2 HU; enhanced 4 ± 4 HU). AUC for malignancy was similar between multi-phase routine dose DE and lower dose PIR images [per patient: 0.950 vs. 0.916 (p = 0.356); per lesion: 0.931 vs. 0.884 (p = 0.304)]. Per patient sensitivity was also similar (78% routine dose vs. 82% lower dose [p ≥ 0.99]), as was specificity (91% routine dose vs. 93% lower dose PIR [p > 0.99]), with similar findings on a per lesion level. Subjective image quality was also similar (p = 0.34).

Prior iterative reconstruction is a new reconstruction method for multi-phase CT examinations that promises to facilitate radiation dose reduction by over 50% for multi-phase DE renal CT exams without compromising CT number or observer performance.

Abdominal radiology (New York). 2019 Oct [Epub]

Patrick J Navin, Bohyun Kim, Michael L Wells, Ashish Khandelwal, Ahmed F Halaweish, Taylor R Moen, Matthew P Johnson, Shannon McCollough, Yong Suk Lee, Shuai Leng, Cynthia H McCollough, Joel G Fletcher

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA., Siemens Healthineers, Malvern, PA, 19355, USA., Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA., Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA. .