Can noise reduction filters improve low-radiation-dose chest CT images? Pilot study

Radiology
Mannudeep K KalraJo-Anne Shepard

Abstract

Effect of noise reduction filters on chest computed tomographic (CT) images acquired with 50% radiation dose reduction was evaluated. Two sets of images were acquired with multi-detector row CT at standard (220-280 mA) and 50% reduced (110-140 mA) tube current at the level of the carina. After postprocessing with six noise reduction filters, images were compared with baseline standard-dose images for noise, sharpness, and contrast in lungs, mediastinum, and chest wall. Quantitative image noise was measured in descending thoracic aorta. Modulation transfer functions were calculated from CT images of 50-microm wire. Noise reduction filters reduced image noise on low-radiation-dose chest CT images, with some compromise in image sharpness and contrast assessed qualitatively, and slightly altered modulation transfer function at higher spatial frequencies.

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