Medical Sciences (2020-07-01)

The Feasibility of Contrast-to-Noise Ratio on Measurements to Evaluate CT Image Quality in Terms of Low-Contrast Detailed Detectability

  • Haney A Alsleem,
  • Hussain M Almohiy

DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030026
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 26
p. 26

Abstract

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Background: To evaluate contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) measurements in assessing image quality, in the context of the detectability performance of low-contrast detail (LCD), in computed tomography (CT) images, since exposure to elevated ionising-type radiation is considered to present excessive carcinogenic risk, whilst also causing distress in study subjects. Methods: An LCD phantom module (CTP515) was utilised in the study. Three dissimilar contrast items were used to analyse the ramifications of the proportions of an object on the CNR. Three multidetector CT (MDCT) scanners were used, with 16-MDCT, 64-MDCT and 80-MDCT frameworks, respectively. The CT scans were recreated using three dissimilar remaking algorithms—soft, standard and lung. The effects exerted on the CNR by various remodelling algorithms, as well as the contrast of various objects along with the size of the objects, were explored. The Hounsfield units of each chosen object (one unit representing the outer portion of the object) and the background and the standard deviation of the noise parameter were quantified, and algorithms were developed using MATLAB. Results: The CNR information was greatly influenced by changing the image recreation calculations and was very much increased in the soft-tissue recreation images using 16-MDCT and 64-MDCT. The CNR information was also increased more in the optimum recreation images than in the reproduced images from the computational procedure used in the 80-MDCT. The results did not show any remarkable contrasts in the CNR values between the different object sizes. Overall, a higher kVp produced an improved CNR in all the CT scanners. In particular, there were prominent upgrades in the CNR information when the kVp was increased from 80 to 120. Higher mAs levels gave better CNR values overall, especially for greater section thicknesses. Based on the CNR estimations, the 64-MDCT provided the best correlation among the CT scanners. Conclusions: The objective LCD appraisal method, based on CNR measurements, was confirmed as being useful for checking the different impacts of kVp, mAs and section thickness on the nature of the picture. This procedure was similarly viable in assessing the impacts of the different reconstruction calculations and the different differentiation questions on the nature of the image.

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