Renal Perfusion and Hemodynamics: Accurate in Vivo Determination at CT with a 10-Fold Decrease in Radiation Dose and HYPR Noise Reduction 1

Department of Radiology, Divisions of Nephrology and Hypertension, CT Clinical Innovation Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Radiology (Impact Factor: 6.87). 10/2009; 253(1):98-105. DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2531081677
Source: PubMed


To prospectively evaluate the accuracy of computed tomographic (CT) perfusion measurements of renal hemodynamics and function obtained by using images acquired with one-tenth the typical radiation dose and postprocessed with a highly constrained back-projection (HYPR)-local reconstruction (LR) noise-reduction technique.
This study was approved by the institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Two consecutive CT perfusion acquisitions were performed in 10 anesthetized pigs over 180 seconds by using routine (80 kV, 160 mAs) and one-tenth (80 kV, 16 mAs) dose levels. Images obtained with each acquisition were reconstructed with identical parameters, and the one-tenth dose images were also processed with a HYPR-LR algorithm. Attenuation changes in kidneys were determined as a function of time to form time-attenuation curves (TACs). Extended gamma-variate curve-fitting was performed, and regional perfusion, glomerular filtration rate, and renal blood flow were calculated. Image quality was evaluated (in 10 pigs), and the agreement for renal perfusion and function between the routine dose and the one-tenth dose HYPR-LR images was determined (for 20 kidneys) by using statistical methods. Statistical analysis was performed by using the paired t test, linear regression, and Bland-Altman analysis.
TACs obtained with the one-tenth dose were similar to those obtained with the routine dose. Statistical analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the routine dose and the one-tenth dose acquisitions in renal perfusion and hemodynamic values and that there were slight but statistically significant differences in some values with the one-tenth dose HYPR-LR-processed acquisition. The image quality of the one-tenth dose acquisition was improved by using the HYPR-LR algorithm. Linear regression and Bland-Altman plots showed agreement between the images acquired by using the routine dose and those acquired by using the one-tenth dose with HYPR-LR processing.
A 10-fold dose reduction at renal perfusion CT imaging can be achieved in vivo, without loss of accuracy. The image quality of the one-tenth dose images could be improved to be near that of the routine dose images by using the HYPR-LR noise-reduction algorithm. Supplemental material:

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    • "In a study performed on renal perfusion CT in pigs, a 10-fold dose reduction was evaluated without loss of accuracy. The image quality of the one-tenth dose images could be improved to be near that of the routine dose images in pigs by using the HYPR-LR noise-reduction algorithm [19]. In contrast to BPCT, which is accepted in the clinical routine, renal perfusion CT is mostly performed for research purposes. "
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate image quality and signal characteristics of brain perfusion CT (BPCT) obtained by low-dose (LD) and ultra-low-dose (ULD) protocols with and without post-processing by highly constrained back-projection (HYPR)-local reconstruction (LR) technique. Simultaneous BPCTs were acquired in 8 patients on a dual-source-CT by applying LD (80 kV, 200 mAs, 14×1.2 mm) on tube A and ULD (80 kV, 30 mAs, 14×1.2 mm) on tube B. Image data from both tubes was reconstructed with identical parameters and post-processed using the HYPR-LR. Correlation coefficients between mean and maximum (MAX) attenuation values within corresponding ROIs, area under attenuation curve (AUC), and signal to noise ratio (SNR) of brain parenchyma were assessed. Subjective image quality was assessed on a 5-point scale by two blinded observers (1: excellent, 5: non-diagnostic). Radiation dose of ULD was more than six times lower compared to LD. SNR was improved by HYPR: ULD vs. ULD+HYPR: 1.9±0.3 vs. 8.4±1.7, LD vs. LD+HYPR: 5.0±0.7 vs. 13.4±2.4 (both p<0.0001). There was a good correlation between the original datasets and the HYPR-LR post-processed datasets: r = 0.848 for ULD and ULD+HYPR and r = 0.933 for LD and LD+HYPR (p<0.0001 for both). The mean values of the HYPR-LR post-processed ULD dataset correlated better with the standard LD dataset (r = 0.672) than unprocessed ULD (r = 0.542), but both correlations were significant (p<0.0001). There was no significant difference in AUC or MAX. Image quality was rated excellent (1.3) in LD+HYPR and non-diagnostic (5.0) in ULD. LD and ULD+HYPR images had moderate image quality (3.3 and 2.7). SNR and image quality of ULD-BPCT can be improved to a level similar to LD-BPCT when using HYPR-LR without distorting attenuation measurements. This can be used to substantially reduce radiation dose. Alternatively, LD images can be improved by HYPR-LR to higher diagnostic quality.
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