Ciet, P.4; Graniel, K. Gonzalez4; Stick, S.4; de Bruijne, Marleen5; Tiddens, H.4; Straten, M. van4
1 Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Administration, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 The Image Section, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet4 unknown5 Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Purpose: To standardise the scan protocol for CT scanners of participating centres in a multi-centre study (clinicaltrials.gov NCT01270074) for the prevention of radiologically defined bronchiectasis in CF infants by ensuring the maximum image quality at the minimum radiation dose. Methods and Materials: Three different sized phantoms (QRM, Germany) were used to assess scanners’ performance of automatic exposure control (AEC). CTDI and DLP were recorded. The phantoms contained various inserts to assess slice-sensitivity-profile, in-plane spatial resolution, noise and the Hounsfield Unit (HU) scale. Scans were made for several dose levels and reconstruction kernels. Images were analysed with custom-made software (MatLab, USA) to obtain the standard deviation of the noise, point-spread-function (PSF) and slice thickness. Results: Eight different scanners with 64 slices or more from 4 manufacturers (GE, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba) were assessed. Despite differences in AEC’s performance, we obtained approximately the same dose level at each center by recommending site and age-specific AEC reference levels. A constant image quality was only possible by matching the different reconstruction kernels measured PSFs at full-width-at-half-maximum. In fact, large part of the differences between scanners was related to reconstruction kernels. The relatively high noise images corresponded with reconstructions using a kernel with edge enhancement such as the Siemens B70 kernel or the GE lung kernel that are routinely used in chest imaging. Conclusion: Objective measurements on CT images allowed for matching of scan protocols among CT scanners of different manufacturers. Use of routine protocols might introduce a bias in the (automated) image analysis.
Ecr - Annual Meeting of the European Society of Radiology, 2013