The purpose of this work was to evaluate the image quality, lesion conspicuity, and dose reduction provided by knowledge-based iterative model reconstruction (IMR) in computed tomography (CT) of the liver compared with hybrid iterative reconstruction (IR) and filtered back projection (FBP) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).Methods
Fifty-six patients with 61 HCCs who underwent multiphasic reduced-dose CT (RDCT; n = 33) or standard-dose CT (SDCT; n = 28) were retrospectively evaluated. Reconstructed images with FBP, hybrid IR (iDose4), IMR were evaluated for image quality using CT attenuation and image noise. Objective and subjective image quality of RDCT and SDCT sets were independently assessed by 2 observers in a blinded manner.Results
Image quality and lesion conspicuity were better with IMR for both RDCT and SDCT than either FBP or IR (P < 0.001). Contrast-to-noise ratio of HCCs in IMR-RDCT was significantly higher on delayed phase (DP) (P < 0.001), and comparable on arterial phase, than with IR-SDCT (P = 0.501). Iterative model reconstruction RDCT was significantly superior to FBP-SDCT (P < 0.001). Compared with IR-SDCT, IMR-RDCT was comparable in image sharpness and tumor conspicuity on arterial phase, and superior in image quality, noise, and lesion conspicuity on DP. With the use of IMR, a 27% reduction of effective dose was achieved with RDCT (12.7 ± 0.6 mSv) compared with SDCT (17.4 ± 1.1 mSv) without loss of image quality (P < 0.001).Conclusions
Iterative model reconstruction provides better image quality and tumor conspicuity than FBP and IR with considerable noise reduction. In addition, more than comparable results were achieved with IMR-RDCT to IR-SDCT for the evaluation of HCCs.