Background: Since children are more radio-sensitive than adults, there is a need to minimize radiation exposure during CT exams.
Objective: To evaluate the effects of adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) on radiation dose reduction, image quality and diagnostic accuracy in pediatric abdominal CT.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the abdominal CT examinations of 41 children (24 boys and 17 girls; mean age: 10 years) with a low-dose radiation protocol and reconstructed with ASIR (the ASIR group). We also reviewed routine-dose abdominal CT examinations of 41 age- and sex-matched controls reconstructed with filtered-back projection (control group). Image quality was assessed objectively as noise measured in the liver, spleen and aorta, as well as subjectively by three pediatric radiologists for diagnostic acceptability using a four-point scale. Radiation dose and objective image qualities of each group were compared with the paired t-test. Diagnostic accuracy was evaluated by reviewing follow-up imaging studies and medical records in 2012 and 2013.
Results: There was 46.3% dose reduction of size-specific dose estimates in ASIR group (from 13.4 to 7.2 mGy) compared with the control group. Objective noise was higher in the liver, spleen and aorta of the ASIR group (P < 0.001). However, the subjective image quality was average or superior in 84-100% of studies. Only one image was subjectively rated as unacceptable by one reviewer. There was only one case with interpretational error in the control group and none in the ASIR group.
Conclusion: Use of the ASIR technique resulted in greater than a 45% reduction in radiation dose without impairing subjective image quality or diagnostic accuracy in pediatric abdominal CT, despite increased objective image noise.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging