Sci Rep. 2022 Jul 20;12(1):12422. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-16798-9.
To compare the quality of CT images of the lung reconstructed using deep learning-based reconstruction (True Fidelity Image: TFI ™; GE Healthcare) to filtered back projection (FBP), and to determine the minimum tube current-time product in TFI without compromising image quality. Four cadaveric human lungs were scanned on CT at 120 kVp and different tube current-time products (10, 25, 50, 75, 100, and 175 mAs) and reconstructed with TFI and FBP. Two image evaluations were performed by three independent radiologists. In the first experiment, using the same tube current-time product, a side-by-side TFI and FBP comparison was performed. Images were evaluated with regard to noise, streak artifacts, and overall image quality. Overall image quality was evaluated in view of whole image quality. In the second experiment, CT images reconstructed using TFI and FBP with five different tube current-time products were displayed in random order, which were evaluated with reference to the 175 mAs-FBP image. Images were scored with regard to normal structure, abnormal findings, noise, streak artifacts, and overall image quality. Median scores from three radiologists were statistically analyzed. Quantitative evaluation of noise was performed by setting regions of interest (ROIs) in air. In first experiment, overall image quality was improved, and noise was decreased in images of TFI compared to that of FBP for all tube current-time products. In second experiment, scores of all evaluation items except for small vessels in images of 25 mAs-TFI were almost the same as that of 175 mAs-FBP (all p > 0.31). Using TFI instead of FBP, at least 85% radiation dose reduction could be possible without any degradation in the image quality.