Feasibility of slice width reduction for spiral cranial computed tomography using iterative image reconstruction

Holger Haubenreisser, Christian Fink, John W. Nance, Martin Sedlmair, Bernhard Schmidt, Stefan O. Schoenberg, Thomas Henzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose To prospectively compare image quality of cranial computed tomography (CCT) examinations with varying slice widths using traditional filtered back projection (FBP) versus sinogram-affirmed iterative image reconstruction (SAFIRE). Materials and methods 29 consecutive patients (14 men, mean age: 72 ± 17 years) referred for a total of 40 CCT studies were prospectively included. Each CCT raw data set was reconstructed with FBP and SAFIRE at 5 slice widths (1-5 mm; 1 mm increments). Objective image quality was assessed in three predefined regions of the brain (white matter, thalamus, cerebellum) using identical regions of interest (ROIs). Subjective image quality was assessed by 2 experienced radiologists. Objective and subjective image quality parameters were statistically compared between FBP and SAFIRE reconstructions. Results SAFIRE reconstructions resulted in mean noise reductions of 43.8% in the white matter, 45.6% in the thalamus and 42.0% in the cerebellum (p < 0.01) compared to FBP on non contrast-enhanced 1 mm slice width images. Corresponding mean noise reductions on 1 mm contrast-enhanced studies were 45.7%, 47.3%, and 45.0% in the white matter, thalamus, and cerebellum, respectively (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in mean attenuation of any region or slice width between the two reconstruction methods (all p > 0.05). Subjective image quality of IR images was mostly rated higher than that of the FBP images. Conclusion Compared to FBP, SAFIRE provides significant reductions in image noise while increasing subjective image in CCT, particularly when thinner slices are used. Therefore, SAFIRE may allow utilization of thinner slices in CCT, potentially reducing partial volume effects and improving diagnostic accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-969
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Brain
  • CT
  • Head
  • Iterative reconstruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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