PURPOSE: To assess the impact of iterative reconstruction and filtered back projection (FBP) on image quality in computed tomography (CT)-based forensic age estimation of the medial clavicular epiphysis.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: CT of the clavicle was performed in 19 patients due to forensic reasons (70 mAs/140 kVp). Raw data were reconstructed with FBP and with an iterative algorithm at level 4 and 6. Clavicular ossification stage was determined by two radiologists in consensus, firstly on FBP reconstructed images and secondly after reviewing all reconstructions including iDose 4 and 6. In addition, the 3 reconstructions were compared regarding artefacts and delineation of the meta-/epiphyseal interface. Quantitative image noise was measured.
RESULTS: Quantitative noise was lower in iDose 6 reconstructed images than in FBP (P < 0.042), but not significantly lower between iDose 4 and FBP (P = 0.127). Side by side comparison revealed lesser qualitative image noise on both iDose reconstructed images than for FBP. The meta-/epiphyseal interface delineation was rated better on both iDose levels than with FBP. In 3 of 19 patients, the clavicular ossification stage was reclassified after iterative reconstructions had been additionally reviewed.
CONCLUSION: Using iterative CT reconstruction algorithms, a reduction of image noise and an enhancement of image quality regarding the meta-/epiphyseal clavicular interface can be achieved. The study highlights the importance of image standardization as variation of reconstruction technique has impact on forensic age estimation.
- Age Determination by Skeleton/methods
- Clavicle/diagnostic imaging
- Epiphyses/diagnostic imaging
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted/methods
- Radiation Dosage
- Retrospective Studies
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio
- Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods
- Young Adult
Field of Science*
- 3.2 Clinical medicine
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database