CHICAGO — November 30, 2011 — Preliminary results based on a phantom study outlined the potential to decrease iodine and radiation dose on Low kVp scans. Lower kV CT scans mean lower radiation dose while keeping all other factors the same. From CT physics it is known that lower kV scans can be expected to have enhanced contrast to noise performance. Because of this and the x-ray absorption properties of iodine, lower kV scans also have the potential to positively influence the amount of iodine needed for optimized visualization. GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE) provided support for this scientific investigation that was led by Nico Buls, MSc, medical physicist at Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
The emergence of advanced CT reconstruction methods have opened additional possibilities for lower kV acquisitions and this study is an important step in helping the CT community better understand how these new reconstructions perform in relationship to changing iodine dose (or load). GE Healthcare has a continued commitment to the advancement of patient care by providing radiation dose reduction technologies and investigating ways to optimize the CT scanning process.
About the Study
This study was carried out to assess contrast enhancement using varying amounts of iodine contrast media using low kVp scans and two types of GE iterative reconstruction using an in-vitro “phantom system.” The phantom was scanned on a GE Healthcare CT750HD scanner with 120, 100 and 80 kVp at standard and low radiation dose levels. Data were reconstructed with standard filter-back projection (FBP) and two types of iterative reconstruction. Imaging performance was assessed by measuring the dose normalized contrast to noise ratio (CNRD) in the images. Soft-tissue noise was measured in water.
This preliminary data showed that compared to standard FBP, both of the new reconstruction techniques showed an ability to improve CNRD. “While further experiments are needed to determine an optimum radiation dose level for a required iodine contrast-to-noise ratio, these results are an important first step toward a goal of achieving both a reduction in iodine and x-ray dose while still preserving the image quality needed for accurate diagnosis,” said Buls.
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