Key words: Colon – CT – Three-dimensional CT – Virtual endoscopy – Image processing – Radiation exposure
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the interdependency of spatial resolution, image reconstruction artifacts, and radiation doses in virtual CT colonoscopy by comparing various CT scanning protocols. A pig's colon with several artificial polypoid lesions was imaged after air insufflation with helical CT scanning using 1-, 3-, and 5-mm collimation, and pitch values varying from 1.0 to 3.0. Virtual endoscopic images and “fly through” sequences were calculated on a Sun Sparc 20 workstation (Navigator Software, GE Medical Systems, Milwaukee, Wis.). Several reconstruction artifacts as well as overall image quality were evaluated by three independent reviewers. In addition, radiation doses for the different CT protocols were measured as multiple-scan average dose using a 10-cm ion chamber and a standard Plexiglass body phantom. Generally, image quality and reconstruction artifacts were less affected by pitch values than by beam collimation. Thus, narrow beam collimation at higher pitch values (e. g. 3 mm/2.0) seems to be a reasonable compromise between quality of virtual endoscopic images and radiation dose load.
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