Novel iterative reconstruction method with optimal dose usage for partially redundant CT-acquisition
In CT imaging, a variety of applications exist which are strongly SNR limited. However, in some cases redundant data of the same body region provide additional quanta.
Examples: in dual energy CT, the spatial resolution has to be compromised to provide good SNR for material decomposition. However, the respective spectral dataset of the same body region provides additional quanta which might be utilized to improve SNR of each spectral component. Perfusion CT is a high dose application, and dose reduction is highly desirable. However, a meaningful evaluation of perfusion parameters might be impaired by noisy time frames. On the other hand, the SNR of the average of all time frames is extremely high. In redundant CT acquisitions, multiple image datasets can be reconstructed and averaged to composite image data. These composite image data, however, might be compromised with respect to contrast resolution and/or spatial resolution and/or temporal resolution. These observations bring us to the idea of transferring high SNR of composite image data to low SNR ‘source’ image data, while maintaining their resolution. It has been shown that the noise characteristics of CT image data can be improved by iterative reconstruction (Popescu et al 2012 Book of Abstracts, 2nd CT Meeting (Salt Lake City, UT) p 148). In case of data dependent Gaussian noise it can be modelled with image-based iterative reconstruction at least in an approximate manner (Bruder et al 2011 Proc. SPIE 7961 79610J).We present a generalized update equation in image space, consisting of a linear combination of the previous update, a correction term which is constrained by the source image data, and a regularization prior, which is initialized by the composite image data. This iterative reconstruction approach we call bimodal reconstruction (BMR). Based on simulation data it is shown that BMR can improve low contrast detectability, substantially reduces the noise power and has the potential to recover spatial resolution of the source image data. For different CT applications: dual energy imaging, liver imaging, spiral imaging, cardiac imaging, we show that SNR can efficiently be transferred from the composite image to the source image data at constant patient dose, while maintaining resolution properties of the source data.
Authors: Bruder H, Raupach R, Sunnegardh J, Allmendinger T, Klotz E, Stierstorfer K, Flohr T.
Full text available at: Phys Med Biol. 2015 Oct