Quantitative comparison of noise texture across CT scanners from different manufacturers.
PURPOSE: To quantitatively compare noise texture across computed tomography (CT) scanners from different manufacturers using the noise power spectrum (NPS). METHODS: The American College of Radiology CT accreditation phantom (Gammex 464, Gammex, Inc., Middleton, WI) was imaged on two scanners: Discovery CT 750HD (GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI), and SOMATOM Definition Flash (Siemens Healthcare, Germany), using a consistent acquisition protocol (120 kVp, 0.625∕0.6 mm slice thickness, 250 mAs, and 22 cm field of view). Images were reconstructed using filtered backprojection and a wide selection of reconstruction kernels. For each image set, the 2D NPS were estimated from the uniform section of the phantom. The 2D spectra were normalized by their integral value, radially averaged, and filtered by the human visual response function. A systematic kernel-by-kernel comparison across manufacturers was performed by computing the root mean square difference (RMSD) and the peak frequency difference (PFD) between the NPS from different kernels. GE and Siemens kernels were compared and kernel pairs that minimized the RMSD and |PFD| were identified. RESULTS: The RMSD (|PFD|) values between the NPS of GE and Siemens kernels varied from 0.01 mm(2) (0.002 mm(-1)) to 0.29 mm(2) (0.74 mm(-1)). The GE kernels "Soft," "Standard," "Chest," and "Lung" closely matched the Siemens kernels "B35f," "B43f," "B41f," and "B80f" (RMSD < 0.05 mm(2), |PFD| < 0.02 mm(-1), respectively). The GE "Bone," "Bone+," and "Edge" kernels all matched most closely with Siemens "B75f" kernel but with sizeable RMSD and |PFD| values up to 0.18 mm(2) and 0.41 mm(-1), respectively. These sizeable RMSD and |PFD| values corresponded to visually perceivable differences in the noise texture of the images. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to use the NPS to quantitatively compare noise texture across CT systems. The degree to which similar texture across scanners could be achieved varies and is limited by the kernels available on each scanner.
Solomon, JB; Christianson, O; Samei, E
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