To develop a convolutional neural network-based method for the subjective evaluation of computed tomography (CT) images having low-contrast resolution due to imaging conditions and nonlinear image processing. Four radiological technologists visually evaluated CT images that were reconstructed using three nonlinear noise reduction processes (AIDR 3D, AIDR 3D Enhanced, AiCE) on a CT system manufactured by CANON. The visual evaluation consisted of two items: low contrast detectability (score: 0–9) and texture pattern (score: 1–5). Four AI models with different convolutional and max pooling layers were constructed and trained on pairs of CANON CT images and average visual assessment scores of four radiological technologists. CANON CT images not used for training were used to evaluate prediction performance. In addition, CT images scanned with a SIEMENS CT system were input to each AI model for external validation. The mean absolute error and correlation coefficients were used as evaluation metrics. Our proposed AI model can evaluate low-contrast detectability and texture patterns with high accuracy, which varies with the dose administered and the nonlinear noise reduction process. The proposed AI model is also expected to be suitable for upcoming reconstruction algorithms that will be released in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging