Background: Iterative reconstruction technique has been proposed as a means of reducing patient radiation dose in pediatric CT. Yet, the effect of such reductions on diagnostic accuracy has not been thoroughly evaluated. Objective: This study compares accuracy of diagnosing pediatric acute appendicitis using contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic CT scans performed with traditional pediatric weight-based protocols and filtered back projection reconstruction vs. a filtered back projection/iterative reconstruction technique blend with reduced volume CT dose index (CTDIvol). Materials and methods: Results of pediatric contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic CT scans done for pain and/or suspected appendicitis were reviewed in two groups: A, 192 scans performed with the hospital’s established weight-based CT protocols and filtered back projection reconstruction; B, 194 scans performed with iterative reconstruction technique and reduced CTDIvol. Reduced CTDIvol was achieved primarily by reductions in effective tube current-time product (mAseff) and tube peak kilovoltage (kVp). CT interpretation was correlated with clinical follow-up and/or surgical pathology. CTDIvol, size-specific dose estimates (SSDE) and performance characteristics of the two CT techniques were then compared. Results: Between groups A and B, mean CTDIvol was reduced by 45%, and mean SSDE was reduced by 46%. Sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy were 96%, 97% and 96% in group A vs. 100%, 99% and 99% in group B. Conclusion: Accuracy in diagnosing pediatric acute appendicitis was maintained in contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic CT scans that incorporated iterative reconstruction technique, despite reductions in mean CTDIvol and SSDE by nearly half as compared to the hospital’s traditional weight-based protocols.
- Computed tomography
- Iterative reconstruction
- Radiation dose reduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging