Objective: To assess the advantages of Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction using Three Dimensional Processing (AIDR3D) for image quality improvement and dose reduction for chest computed tomography (CT). Methods: Institutional Review Boards approved this study and informed consent was obtained. Eighty-eight subjects underwent chest CT at five institutions using identical scanners and protocols. During a single visit, each subject was scanned using different tube currents: 240, 120, and 60 mA. Scan data were converted to images using AIDR3D and a conventional reconstruction mode (without AIDR3D). Using a 5-point scale from 1 (non-diagnostic) to 5 (excellent), three blinded observers independently evaluated image quality for three lung zones, four patterns of lung disease (nodule/mass, emphysema, bronchiolitis, and diffuse lung disease), and three mediastinal measurements (small structure visibility, streak artifacts, and shoulder artifacts). Differences in these scores were assessed by Scheffe's test. Results: At each tube current, scans using AIDR3D had higher scores than those without AIDR3D, which were significant for lung zones (p<0.0001) and all mediastinal measurements (p<0.01). For lung diseases, significant improvements with AIDR3D were frequently observed at 120 and 60 mA. Scans with AIDR3D at 120 mA had significantly higher scores than those without AIDR3D at 240 mA for lung zones and mediastinal streak artifacts (p<0.0001), and slightly higher or equal scores for all other measurements. Scans with AIDR3D at 60 mA were also judged superior or equivalent to those without AIDR3D at 120 mA. Conclusion: For chest CT, AIDR3D provides better image quality and can reduce radiation exposure by 50%.
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