TU-G-204-04: A Unified Strategy for Bi-Factorial Optimization of Radiation Dose and Contrast Dose in CT Imaging




To substantiate the interdependency of contrast dose, radiation dose, and image quality in CT towards the patient- specific optimization of the imaging protocols


The study deployed two phantom platforms. A variable sized (12, 18, 23, 30, 37 cm) phantom (Mercury-3.0) containing an iodinated insert (8.5 mgI/ml) was imaged on a representative CT scanner at multiple CTDI values (0.7–22.6 mGy). The contrast and noise were measured from the reconstructed images for each phantom diameter. Linearly related to iodine-concentration, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), were calculated for 16 iodine-concentration levels (0–8.5 mgI/ml). The analysis was extended to a recently developed suit of 58 virtual human models (5D XCAT) with added contrast dynamics. Emulating a contrast-enhanced abdominal image procedure and targeting a peak-enhancement in aorta, each XCAT phantom was “imaged” using a simulation platform (CatSim, GE). 3D surfaces for each patient/size established the relationship between iodine-concentration, dose, and CNR. The ratios of change in iodine-concentration versus dose (IDR) to yield a constant change in CNR were calculated for each patient size.


Mercury phantom results show the image-quality size- dependence on CTDI and IC levels. For desired image-quality values, the iso-contour-lines reflect the trade off between contrast-material and radiation doses. For a fixed iodine-concentration (4 mgI/mL), the IDR values for low (1.4 mGy) and high (11.5 mGy) dose levels were 1.02, 1.07, 1.19, 1.65, 1.54, and 3.14, 3.12, 3.52, 3.76, 4.06, respectively across five sizes. The simulation data from XCAT models confirmed the empirical results from Mercury phantom.


The iodine-concentration, image quality, and radiation dose are interdependent. The understanding of the relationships between iodine-concentration, image quality, and radiation dose will allow for a more comprehensive optimization of CT imaging devices and techniques, providing the methodology to balance iodine-concentration and dose based on patient's attributes.