Impact of iterative reconstruction on image quality of low-dose CT of the lumbar spine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Iterative reconstruction (IR) is a recent reconstruction algorithm for computed tomography (CT) that can be used instead of the standard algorithm, filtered back projection (FBP), to reduce radiation dose and/or improve image quality. Purpose To evaluate and compare the image quality of low-dose CT of the lumbar spine reconstructed with IR to conventional FBP, without further reduction of radiation dose. Material and Methods Low-dose CT on 55 patients was performed on a Siemens scanner using 120 kV tube voltage, 30 reference mAs, and automatic dose modulation. From raw CT data, lumbar spine CT images were reconstructed with a medium filter (B41f) using FBP and four levels of IR (levels 2-5). Five reviewers scored all images on seven image quality criteria according to the European guidelines on quality criteria for CT, using a five-grade scale. A side-by-side comparison was also performed. Results There was significant improvement in image quality for IR (levels 2-4) compared to FBP. According to visual grading regression, odds ratios of all criteria with 95% confidence intervals for IR2, IR3, IR4, and IR5 were: 1.59 (1.39-1.83), 1.74 (1.51-1.99), 1.68 (1.46-1.93), and 1.08 (0.94-1.23), respectively. In the side-by-side comparison of all reconstructions, images with IR (levels 2-4) received the highest scores. The mean overall CTDIvol was 1.70 mGy (SD 0.46; range, 1.01-3.83 mGy). Image noise decreased in a linear fashion with increased strength of IR. Conclusion Iterative reconstruction at levels 2, 3, and 4 improves image quality of low-dose CT of the lumbar spine compared to FPB.


  • Muhammed Alshamari
  • Mats Geijer
  • Eva Norrman
  • Mats Lidén
  • Wolfgang Krauss
  • Johan Jendeberg
  • Anders Magnuson
  • Håkan Geijer
External organisations
  • Örebro University
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medical Image Processing


  • Journal Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-709
JournalActa radiologica (Stockholm, Sweden : 1987)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch