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In Physica medica : PM : an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology : official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB)

PURPOSE : This study aimed to assess the noise characteristics of ultra-high-resolution computed tomography (UHRCT) with deep learning-based reconstruction (DLR).

METHODS : Two different diameters of water phantom were scanned with three different resolution acquisition modes. Images were reconstructed by filtered back projection (FBP), hybrid iterative reconstruction (hybrid-IR), and DLR. Image noise analysis was performed with noise magnitude, peak frequency (fp) of the noise power spectrum (NPS), and the square root of the area under the curve (√AUCNPS) for the NPS curve.

RESULTS : The noise magnitude was up to 3.30 times higher for the FBP acquired in SHR mode than that for the NR mode. The fp values of the FBP were 0.20-0.21, 0.34-0.36, and 0.34-0.37 cycles/mm for normal resolution (NR), high resolution (HR), and super high resolution (SHR) mode, respectively. The fp of hybrid-IR was 0.16-0.19, 0.21-0.26, and 0.23-0.26 cycles/mm for NR, HR, and SHR mode, respectively. The fp of DLR was 0.21-0.32 and 0.22-0.33 cycles/mm for HR and SHR mode, respectively. √AUCNPS showed that the highest value in FBP images of the SHR mode was up to 1.89 times that of the NR mode. DLR in the HR and SHR modes showed high noise reduction while suppressing fp shift with respect to FBP.

CONCLUSIONS : The new DLR algorithm could be a solution to the noise increase due to the high-definition detector elements and the small reconstruction matrix element size.

Urikura Atsushi, Yoshida Tsukasa, Nakaya Yoshihiro, Nishimaru Eiji, Hara Takanori, Endo Masahiro


Computed tomography, Image quality, Noise texture, Radiation dose, Ultra-high resolution