OBJECTIVES: To evaluate image quality (IQ) of low-radiation-dose paediatric cardiovascular CT angiography (CTA), comparing iterative reconstruction in image space (IRIS) and sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) with filtered back-projection (FBP) and estimate the potential for further dose reductions. METHODS: Forty neonates and children underwent low radiation CTA with or without ECG synchronisation. Data were reconstructed with FBP, IRIS and SAFIRE. For ECG-synchronised studies, half-dose image acquisitions were simulated. Signal noise was measured and IQ graded. Effective dose (ED) was estimated. RESULTS: Mean absolute and relative image noise with IRIS and full-dose SAFIRE was lower than with FBP (P < 0.001), while SNR and CNR were higher (P < 0.001). Image noise was also lower and SNR and CNR higher in half-dose SAFIRE studies compared with full-and half-dose FBP studies (P < 0.001). IQ scores were higher for IRIS, full-dose SAFIRE and half-dose SAFIRE than for full-dose FBP and higher for half-dose SAFIRE than for half-dose FBP (P < 0.05). Median weight-specific ED was 0.3 mSv without and 1.36 mSv with ECG synchronisation. The estimated ED of half-dose SAFIRE studies was 0.68 mSv. CONCLUSIONS: IR improves image noise, SNR, CNR and subjective IQ compared with FBP in low-radiation-dose paediatric CTA and allows further dose reductions without compromising diagnostic IQ. KEY POINTS : • Iterative reconstruction techniques significantly improve non-invasive cardiovascular CT in children. • Using half traditional radiation dose image quality is higher with iterative reconstruction. • Iterative reconstruction techniques may allow further radiation reductions in paediatric cardiovascular CT.
- Cardiovascular CT angiography