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    Background: Photon-counting detector (PCD) CT may allow lower radiation doses than used for conventional energy-integrating detector (EID) CT, with preserved image quality. Objective: To compare PCD CT and EID CT, reconstructed with and without a denoising tool, in terms of image quality of the osseous pelvis in a phantom, with attention to low radiation doses. Methods: A pelvic phantom comprising human bones in acrylic material mimicking soft tissue underwent PCD CT and EID CT at various tube potentials and radiation doses ranging from 0.05 to 5 mGy. Additional denoised reconstructions were generated using a commercial tool. Noise was measured in the acrylic material. Two readers performed independent qualitative assessments that entailed determining the denoised EID CT reconstruction with the lowest acceptable dose and then comparing this reference reconstruction with PCD CT reconstructions without and with denoising, using subjective Likert scales. Results: Noise was lower for PCD CT than for EID CT. For instance, at 0.05 mGy and 100 kV with tin filter, noise was 38.4 HU for PCD CT versus 48.8 HU for EID CT. Denoising further reduced noise; for example, for PCD CT at 100 kV with tin filter at 0.25 mGy, noise was 19.9 HU without denoising versus 9.7 HU with denoising. For both readers, lowest acceptable dose for EID CT was 0.1 mGy (total score, 11 of 15 for both readers). Both readers somewhat agreed that PCD CT without denoising at 0.1 mGy (reflecting reference reconstruction dose) was relatively better than the reference reconstruction in terms of osseous structures, artifacts, and image quality. Both readers also somewhat agreed that denoised PCD CT reconstructions at 0.1 mGy and 0.05 mGy (reflecting matched and lower doses, respectively, with respect to reference reconstruction dose) were relatively better than the reference reconstruction for the image quality measures. Conclusion: PCD CT demonstrated better quality images than EID CT when performed at the lowest acceptable radiation dose for EID CT. PCD CT with denoising yielded better quality images at a dose lower than lowest acceptable dose for EID CT. Clinical Impact: PCD CT with denoising could facilitate lower radiation doses for pelvic imaging.


    Roy P Marcus, Daniel Nagy, Georg C Feuerriegel, Julian Anhaus, Daniel Nanz, Reto Sutter. Photon-Counting Detector CT With Denoising for Imaging of the Osseous Pelvis at Low Radiation Doses: A Phantom Study. AJR. American journal of roentgenology. 2023 Aug 30

    PMID: 37646387

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