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Authors: Graafen, Dirk
Stoehr, Fabian
Halfmann, Moritz C.
Emrich, Tilman
Foerster, Friedrich
Yang, Yang
Düber, Christoph
Müller, Lukas
Klockner, Roman
Title: Quantum iterative reconstruction on a photon-counting detector CT improves the quality of hepatocellular carcinoma imaging
Online publication date: 15-Feb-2024
Year of first publication: 2023
Language: english
Abstract: Background Excellent image quality is crucial for workup of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with liver cirrhosis because a signature tumor signal allows for non-invasive diagnosis without histologic proof. Photon-counting detector computed tomography (PCD-CT) can enhance abdominal image quality, especially in combination with a novel iterative reconstruction algorithm, quantum iterative reconstruction (QIR). The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of different QIR levels on PCD-CT imaging of HCC in both phantom and patient scans. Methods Virtual monoenergetic images at 50 keV were reconstructed using filtered back projection and all available QIR levels (QIR 1–4). Objective image quality properties were investigated in phantom experiments. The study also included 44 patients with triple-phase liver PCD-CT scans of viable HCC lesions. Quantitative image analysis involved assessing the noise, contrast, and contrast-to-noise ratio of the lesions. Qualitative image analysis was performed by three raters evaluating noise, artifacts, lesion conspicuity, and overall image quality using a 5-point Likert scale. Results Noise power spectra in the phantom experiments showed increasing noise suppression with higher QIR levels without affecting the modulation transfer function. This pattern was confirmed in the in vivo scans, in which the lowest noise levels were found in QIR-4 reconstructions, with around a 50% reduction in median noise level compared with the filtered back projection images. As contrast does not change with QIR, QIR-4 also yielded the highest contrast-to-noise ratios. With increasing QIR levels, rater scores were significantly better for all qualitative image criteria (all p < .05). Conclusions Without compromising image sharpness, the best image quality of iodine contrast optimized low-keV virtual monoenergetic images can be achieved using the highest QIR level to suppress noise. Using these settings as standard reconstruction for HCC in PCD-CT imaging might improve diagnostic accuracy and confidence.
DDC: 610 Medizin
610 Medical sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 04 Medizin
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Document type specification: Scientific article
License: CC BY
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Journal: Cancer imaging
Pages or article number: 69
Publisher: BioMed Central
Publisher place: London
Issue date: 2023
ISSN: 1470-7330
Publisher DOI: 10.1186/s40644-023-00592-5
Appears in collections:DFG-491381577-G

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