Objectives To investigate the role of third-generation iterative reconstruction (ADMIRE) in dual-source, high-pitch chest CT protocol with spectral shaping at 100 kVp in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods Confirmed COVID-19 inpatients undergoing to unenhanced chest CT were scanned with a dual-energy acquisition (DECT, 90/150Sn kV) and a dual-source, high-pitch acquisition with tin-filtered 100 kVp (LDCT). On the DECT with ADMIRE 3 (DECT3) were evaluated the pulmonary findings and their extension (25-point score). Two radiologists in consensus evaluated with 5-point scales the overall image quality, the anatomical structures, and the elementary findings on LDCT reconstructed with filtered backprojection (LDCT0), with ADMIRE 3 (LDCT3) and 5 (LDCT5), and on DECT3. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the body mass index, the exposure times, and the radiation doses were recorded. Results Seventy-five patients (57 M/18F; median age: 63 y.o.) were included, with median pulmonary extension of 13/25 points. The imaging findings were detected in proportion comparable to the available literature. The ADMIRE significantly improved the SNR in LDCT (p < 0.00001) with almost no significant differences in overweight patients. The LDCT had median effective dose of 0.39 mSv and acquisition time of 0.71 s with significantly less motion artifacts than DECT (p < 0.00001). The DECT3 and LDCT3 provided the best image quality and depiction of pulmonary anatomy and imaging findings, with significant differences among all the series (p < 0.00001). Conclusion The LDCT with spectral shaping and ADMIRE3 provided acceptable image quality in the evaluation of patients with COVID-19, with significantly reduced radiation dose and motion artifacts.
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