Willi A Kalender

Autonomous University of Queretaro, Ciudad Queretaro, Querétaro, Mexico

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Publications (406)818.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) has emerged as a valuable imaging tool to noninvasively obtain quantitative physiological biomarkers of drug effect in preclinical studies of antiangiogenic compounds. In this study, we explored the ability of DCE micro-CT to assess the antiangiogenic treatment response in breast cancer xenografts and correlated the results to the structural vessel response obtained from 3-dimensional (3D) fluorescence ultramicroscopy (UM). Two groups of tumor-bearing mice (KPL-4) underwent DCE micro-CT imaging using a fast preclinical dual-source micro-CT system (TomoScope Synergy Twin, CT Imaging GmbH, Erlangen, Germany). Mice were treated with either a monoclonal antibody against the vascular endothelial growth factor or an unspecific control antibody. Changes in vascular physiology were assessed measuring the mean value of the relative blood volume (rBV) and the permeability-surface area product (PS) in different tumor regions of interest (tumor center, tumor periphery, and total tumor tissue). Parametric maps of rBV were calculated of the tumor volume to assess the intratumoral vascular heterogeneity. Isotropic 3D UM vessel scans were performed from excised tumor tissue, and automated 3D segmentation algorithms were used to determine the microvessel density (MVD), relative vessel volume, and vessel diameters. In addition, the accumulation of coinjected fluorescence-labeled trastuzumab was quantified in the UM tissue scans to obtain an indirect measure of vessel permeability. Results of the DCE micro-CT were compared with corresponding results obtained by ex vivo UM. For validation, DCE micro-CT and UM parameters were compared with conventional histology and tumor volume. Examination of the parametric rBV maps revealed significantly different patterns of intratumoral blood supply between treated and control tumors. Whereas control tumors showed a characteristic vascular rim pattern with considerably elevated rBV values in the tumor periphery, treated tumors showed a widely homogeneous blood supply. Compared with UM, the physiological rBV maps showed excellent agreement with the spatial morphology of the intratumoral vascular architecture. Regional assessment of mean physiological values exhibited a significant decrease in rBV (P < 0.01) and PS (P < 0.05) in the tumor periphery after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment. Structural validation with UM showed a significant reduction in reduction of relative vessel volume (rVV) (P < 0.01) and MVD (P < 0.01) in the corresponding tumor region. The reduction in rBV correlated well with the rVV (R = 0.73 for single values and R = 0.95 for mean values). Spatial maps of antibody penetration showed a significantly reduced antibody accumulation (P < 0.01) in the tumor tissue after treatment and agreed well with the physiological change of PS. Examination of vessel diameters revealed a size-dependent antiangiogenic treatment effect, which showed a significant reduction in MVD (P < 0.001) for vessels with diameters smaller than 25 μm. No treatment effect was observed by tumor volume. Noninvasive DCE micro-CT provides valuable physiological information of antiangiogenic drug effect in the intact animal and correlates with ex vivo structural analysis of 3D UM. The combined use of DCE micro-CT with UM constitutes a complementary imaging toolset that can help to enhance our understanding of antiangiogenic drug mechanisms of action in preclinical drug research.
    Investigative radiology 03/2014; · 4.85 Impact Factor
  • Christian Steiding, Daniel Kolditz, Willi A Kalender
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    ABSTRACT: Thousands of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanners for vascular, maxillofacial, neurological, and body imaging are in clinical use today, but there is no consensus on uniform acceptance and constancy testing for image quality (IQ) and dose yet. The authors developed a quality assurance (QA) framework for fully automated and time-efficient performance evaluation of these systems. In addition, the dependence of objective Fourier-based IQ metrics on direction and position in 3D volumes was investigated for CBCT. The authors designed a dedicated QA phantom 10 cm in length consisting of five compartments, each with a diameter of 10 cm, and an optional extension ring 16 cm in diameter. A homogeneous section of water-equivalent material allows measuring CT value accuracy, image noise and uniformity, and multidimensional global and local noise power spectra (NPS). For the quantitative determination of 3D high-contrast spatial resolution, the modulation transfer function (MTF) of centrally and peripherally positioned aluminum spheres was computed from edge profiles. Additional in-plane and axial resolution patterns were used to assess resolution qualitatively. The characterization of low-contrast detectability as well as CT value linearity and artifact behavior was tested by utilizing sections with soft-tissue-equivalent and metallic inserts. For an automated QA procedure, a phantom detection algorithm was implemented. All tests used in the dedicated QA program were initially verified in simulation studies and experimentally confirmed on a clinical dental CBCT system. The automated IQ evaluation of volume data sets of the dental CBCT system was achieved with the proposed phantom requiring only one scan for the determination of all desired parameters. Typically, less than 5 min were needed for phantom set-up, scanning, and data analysis. Quantitative evaluation of system performance over time by comparison to previous examinations was also verified. The maximum percentage interscan variation of repeated measurements was less than 4% and 1.7% on average for all investigated quality criteria. The NPS-based image noise differed by less than 5% from the conventional standard deviation approach and spatially selective 10% MTF values were well comparable to subjective results obtained with 3D resolution pattern. Determining only transverse spatial resolution and global noise behavior in the central field of measurement turned out to be insufficient. The proposed framework transfers QA routines employed in conventional CT in an advanced version to CBCT for fully automated and time-efficient evaluation of technical equipment. With the modular phantom design, a routine as well as an expert version for assessing IQ is provided. The QA program can be used for arbitrary CT units to evaluate 3D imaging characteristics automatically.
    Medical Physics 03/2014; 41(3):031901. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cadaver and phantom measurements and simulations confirmed that radiation exposure in 3D QCT of the spine can be reduced if 80 kV instead of 120 kV protocols are used; 120 mAs and slice thicknesses of 1-1.3 mm should be usable but obese patient will require higher milliampere-second settings. To develop a low-radiation exposure CT acquisition protocol for 3D QCT of the thoracolumbar spine. Twenty-six cadavers were scanned with a standard protocol of 120 kV, 100 mAs and with a low-dose protocol using 90 kV, 150 mAs. The scan range included the vertebrae T6 to L4. Each vertebra was segmented and the integral volume and BMD of the total vertebral body were determined. Effective dose values were estimated. The impact of milliampere-second reduction on image quality was simulated by adding noise. One hundred ninety-six vertebrae were analyzed. Integral volume as well as integral BMD correlated significantly (p < 0.001) between standard and low-dose protocols (volume, r (2) = 0.991, residual root mean square (RMS) error, 0.77 cm(3); BMD, r (2) = 0.985, RMS error, 4.21 mg/cm(3)). The slope significantly differed from 1 for integral BMD but not for volume hinting at residual field inhomogeneity differences between the two voltage settings that could be corrected by cross-calibration. Compared to the standard protocol, effective dose was reduced by over 50 % in the low-dose protocol. Adding noise in the 90 kV images to simulate a reduction from 150 to 100 mAs did not affect the results for integral volume or BMD. For 3D QCT of the spine, depending on scanner type, 80 or 90 kV instead of 120 kV protocols may be considered as an important option to reduce radiation exposure; 120 mAs and slice thicknesses of 1-1.5 mm are usable if segmentation is robust to noise. In obese patients, higher milliampere-second settings will be required.
    Osteoporosis International 10/2013; · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: With recently introduced technical innovations for CT systems, the dose of CT scan acquisitions has been substantially reduced; even effective dose values below 1 mSv have been reported. Due to this development, dose of the localizer radiograph may contribute substantially to dose of the whole CT examination. Since there are only limited data in the literature regarding patient dose for the different types of localizer radiographs, patient dose values were estimated in our study by measurements and Monte Carlo simulations and compared to dose values of typical CT examinations.Methods: First, dose distributions were measured in anthropomorphic phantoms for three different body regions (head, thorax, abdomen-pelvic) and three positions of the x-ray tube (AP, PA, and lateral views); measured values were compared to simulated data using Monte Carlo techniques for validation purposes. Second, organ and effective dose values for the various investigated localizer radiograph scenarios were calculated and compared with published dose values for standard CT and low-dose CT examinations.Results: For the anthropomorphic phantom, deviations of the dose values between measured and calculated results were in the range of 15%. Organ and effective dose values showed a strong dependence on the tube position. The largest differences were observed for chest localizer radiographs in the female phantom for the dose to the breast (AP: 1.01 mGy vs PA: 0.24 mGy). Overall effective dose values were in the range of 0.04-0.42 mSv per localizer radiograph acquisition.Conclusions: In view of the technical dose-reducing innovations in CT, localizer radiographs may substantially contribute to the total dose of the whole CT examination, particularly in the case of dedicated low-dose scans used, e.g., for young patients or screening purposes. Optimization of dose in localizer radiographs should be pursued further in the same way as it was done in CT.
    Medical Physics 08/2013; 40(8):084301. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of cardiac diseases via minimally invasive procedures is of major interest in the clinics. An angiographic C-arm CT system is state-of-the-art in an interventional cardiac laboratory. It opens up the possibility of 3D reconstruction during the procedure. Due to the long acquisition time of several seconds of the C-arm, imaging of dynamic structures is a challenging problem. Therefore, motion correction for cardiac applications is an issue for this imaging device. New minimally invasive procedures like the recently introduced TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) suffer from cardiac motion. The 3D image of the aorta is acquired during rapid pacing of the patient to minimize the cardiac motion and to reduce the blood flow. We present a new algorithmic approach for motion compensation of the aortic root for TAVI procedures under sinus rythm to make rapid pacing unnecessary. Our optimization routine was tested on three clinical datasets of the aortic root, wherein all three show promising results.
    The 12th International Meeting on Fully Three-Dimensional Image Reconstruction in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Lake Tahoe, California; 06/2013
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of shaped filters specifically designed for dedicated breast computed tomography (CT) scanners on dose and image quality. Optimization of filter shape and material in fan direction was performed using two different design methods, one aiming at homogeneous noise distributions in the CT images and the other aiming at a uniform dose distribution in the breast. The optimal filter thickness as a function of fan angle was determined iteratively to fulfil the above mentioned criteria for each breast diameter. Different filter materials (aluminium, copper, carbon, polytetrafluoroethylene) and breast phantoms with diameters between 80-180 mm were investigated. Noise uniformity in the reconstructed images, obtained from CT simulations based on ray-tracing methods, and dose in the breast, calculated with a Monte Carlo software tool, were used as figure of merit. Furthermore, CT-value homogeneity, the distribution of noise in cone direction, spatial resolution from centre to periphery and the contrast-to-noise ratio weighted by dose (CNRD) were evaluated. In addition, the decrease of scatter due to shaped filters was investigated. Since only few or one filter are practical in clinical CT systems, the effects of one shaped filter for different breast diameters were also investigated. In this case the filter, designed for the largest breast diameter, was simulated at variable source-to-filter distances depending on breast diameter. With the filter design method aiming at uniform noise distribution best results were obtained for aluminium as the filter material. Noise uniformity improved from 20} down to 5} and dose was reduced by about 30-40} for all breast diameters. No decrease of noise uniformity in cone direction, CT-value homogeneity, spatial resolution and the CNRD was detected with the shaped filter. However, a small improvement of CNRD was observed. Furthermore, a scatter reduction of about 20-30} and a more homogeneous scatter distribution were reached which led to reduced cupping artefacts. The simulations with one shaped filter at variable source-to-filter distance resulted in nearly homogeneous noise distributions and comparable dose reduction for all breast diameters. In conclusion, by means of shaped filters designed for breast CT, significant dose reduction can be achieved at unimpaired image quality. One shaped filter designed for the largest breast diameter used with variable source-to-filter distance appears to be the best solution for breast CT.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 05/2013; 58(12):4205-4223. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Bone marrow lesions (BMLs) in the knee are associated with pain and compartment-specific joint space narrowing. However, the correlation of BMLs with bone mineral density (BMD) has rarely been investigated. The aim of the present study was to examine whether BMD in BMLs is altered compared to the surrounding bone. DESIGN: 34 BMLs detected in OA knees (KL grade 2 and 3) of 26 patients were investigated. A 3D-segmentation was used to determine BML volumes of interest (VOI) and their surrounding bone in MR images. These VOIs were registered to corresponding single-energy QCT images and a BMD analysis was performed. The same VOIs were transferred to control datasets (19 OA patients without BMLs) by an elastic registration, where the BMD analysis was repeated. To account for the dependence of bone marrow composition on BMD measures derived using single-energy QCT, simulations were performed to evaluate how changing fat-water compositions likely occurring with BML development may influence BMD measures and observed BMD differences between patients with and without BMLs. The association between loading in the knee and the occurrence of BMLs was investigated by medial to lateral (M:L) BMD ratios. RESULTS: BMD was significantly increased at BML locations, even with a fat-to-water conversion rate of 39%. The M:L BMD ratio was significantly increased in bones with medial BMLs. CONCLUSIONS: BMD was examined exactly at BML locations and surrounding bone using highly accurate segmentation and registration methods. BMD was significantly increased at BML locations (p<0.05).
    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 04/2013; · 4.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Integrated whole-body positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance (MR) scanners have recently been introduced and potentially offer new possibilities in hybrid imaging of oncologic patients. Integration of PET in a whole-body MR system requires new PET detector technology and new approaches to attenuation correction of PET data based on MR imaging. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical performance and image quality parameters of integrated whole-body PET/MR hybrid imaging in intraindividual comparison with PET/CT in oncologic patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty patients underwent a single-injection, dual-imaging protocol including whole-body PET/computed tomography (CT) and subsequent whole-body PET/MR hybrid imaging. Positron emission tomography/computed tomography was performed after adequate resting time (73 ± 13 minutes post injectionem of 227 ± 52.7 MBq Fluor-18-Fluordesoxyglucose, 3 minutes of acquisition time for each of 7 bed positions), followed by PET/MR (172 ± 33 minutes post injectionem, 10 minutes acquisition time for each of 4 bed positions). Positron emission tomographic data for both modalities were reconstructed iteratively. Two observers evaluated the following parameters: qualitative correlation of tracer-avid lesions in PET/CT versus PET/MR and PET image quality of PET/CT versus PET/MR. Magnetic resonance image quality of standard sequences (T1-weighted, T2-weighted), performance of the Dixon sequence for MR-based attenuation correction in comparison with corresponding T1-weighted images, artifacts in PET/MR data, and spatial coregistration of PET and MR data were evaluated by another observer. RESULTS: In 70 of the 80 patients, both image data sets were complete. In these patients, 192 tracer-avid lesions were identified on PET/CT; 195, on PET/MR. A total of 187 lesions were identified concordantly by both modalities, and this corresponds to an agreement rate of 97.4%. The overall PET image quality was rated good to excellent for PET from PET/CT (12/28, excellent, 42.9%; 16/28, good, 57.1%; 0/28, poor, 0.0%) and slightly superior compared with PET from PET/MR, which was rated good (3/28, excellent, 10.7%; 20/28, good, 71.4%; 5/28, poor, 17.9%) in a subset of 28 patients. The overall image quality of the MR image data sets in all 70 of the 80 patients was rated excellent (260/280, excellent, 92.8%; 15/280, good, 5.4%; 5/280, poor, 1.8%). The Dixon sequence and conversion to μ-maps for MR-based attenuation correction provided robust tissue segmentation in all 280 bed positions of the acquired PET/MR data. No artifacts such as elevated noise and radiofrequency disturbances related to hardware cross talk between the PET and MR components in the hybrid system could be detected in the MR images. Nomajor spatial mismatches between PET and MR data were detected. CONCLUSIONS: Integrated PET/MR hybrid imaging is feasible in a clinical setting with similar detection rates as those of PET/CT. Attenuation correction can be performed sufficiently with Dixon sequences, although bone is disregarded. The administration of specific radiotracers and dedicated imaging sequences will foster this hybrid imaging modality in various indications.
    Investigative radiology 02/2013; · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In female subjects, ageing and the menopausal transition contribute to a rapid increase of metabolic and cardiac risk factors. Exercise may be an option to positively impact various risk factors prone to severe metabolic and cardiac diseases and events. This study was conducted to determine the long-term effect of a multipurpose exercise program on metabolic and cardiac risk scores in postmenopausal women. 137 osteopenic Caucasian females (55.4 ± 3.2 yrs), 1-8 years postmenopausal, were included in the study. Eighty-six subjects joined the exercise group (EG) and performed an intense multipurpose exercise program which was carefully supervised during the 12-year period, while 51 females maintained their habitual physical activity (CG). Main outcome measures were 10-year coronary heart disease risk (10 y CHD risk), metabolic syndrome Z-score (MetS Index), and 10-year myocardial infarction risk (10 y hard CHD risk). Significant between-group differences all in favor of the EG were determined for 10 y-CHD risk (EG: 2.65 ± 2.09% versus CG: 5.40 ± 3.30%; P = 0.001), MetS-Index (EG: -0.42 ± 1.03% versus CG: 1.61 ± 1.88; P = 0.001), and 10 y-hard-CHD risk (EG: 2.06 ± 1.17% versus CG: 3.26 ± 1.31%; P = 0.001). Although the nonrandomized design may prevent definite evidence, the intense multi-purpose exercise program determined the long-term efficacy and feasibility of an exercise program to significantly impact metabolic and cardiac risk scores in postmenopausal women. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01177761.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2013; 2013:768431. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the potential of prospectively ECG-triggered high-pitch spiral acquisition with low tube voltage and current in combination with iterative reconstruction to achieve coronary CT angiography with sufficient image quality at an effective dose below 0.1 mSv. METHODS: Contrast-enhanced coronary dual source CT angiography (2 × 128 × 0.6 mm, 80 kV, 50 mAs) in prospectively ECG-triggered high-pitch spiral acquisition mode was performed in 21 consecutive individuals (body weight <100 kg, heart rate ≤60/min). Images were reconstructed with raw data-based filtered back projection (FBP) and iterative reconstruction (IR). Image quality was assessed on a 4-point scale (1 = no artefacts, 4 = unevaluable). RESULTS: Mean effective dose was 0.06 ± 0.01 mSv. Image noise was significantly reduced in IR (128.9 ± 46.6 vs. 158.2 ± 44.7 HU). The mean image quality score was lower for IR (1.9 ± 1.1 vs. 2.2 ± 1.0, P < 0.0001). Of 292 coronary segments, 55 in FBP and 40 in IR (P = 0.12) were graded "unevaluable". In patients with a body weight ≤75 kg, both in FBP and in IR, the rates of fully evaluable segments were significantly higher in comparison to patients >75 kg. CONCLUSIONS: Coronary CT angiography with an estimated effective dose <0.1 mSv may provide sufficient image quality in selected patients through the combination of high-pitch spiral acquisition and raw data-based iterative reconstruction. KEY POINTS: • Coronary CT angiography with an estimated effective dose <0.1 mSv is possible. • Combination of high-pitch spiral acquisition with iterative reconstruction achieves sufficient image quality. • Diagnostic accuracy remains to be assessed in future trials.
    European Radiology 09/2012; · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential risks of radiation exposure associated with computed tomography (CT) imaging are reason for ongoing concern for both medical staff and patients. Radiation dose reduction is, according to the as low as reasonably achievable principle, an important issue in clinical routine, research and development. The complex interaction of preparation, examination and post-processing provides a high potential for optimization on the one hand but on the other a high risk for errors. The radiologist is responsible for the quality of the CT examination which requires specialized and up-to-date knowledge. Most of the techniques for radiation dose reduction are independent of the system and manufacturer. The basic principle should be radiation dose optimization without loss of diagnostic image quality rather than just reduction.
    Der Radiologe 08/2012; 52(10):905-13. · 0.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Misalignment artifacts are a serious problem in medical flat-detector computed tomography. Generally, the geometrical parameters, which are essential for reconstruction, are provided by preceding calibration routines. These procedures are time consuming and the later use of stored parameters is sensitive toward external impacts or patient movement. The method of choice in a clinical environment would be a markerless online-calibration procedure that allows flexible scan trajectories and simultaneously corrects misalignment and motion artifacts during the reconstruction process. Therefore, different image features were evaluated according to their capability of quantifying misalignment. Projections of the FORBILD head and thorax phantoms were simulated. Additionally, acquisitions of a head phantom and patient data were used for evaluation. For the reconstruction different sources and magnitudes of misalignment were introduced in the geometry description. The resulting volumes were analyzed by entropy (based on the gray-level histogram), total variation, Gabor filter texture features, Haralick co-occurrence features, and Tamura texture features. The feature results were compared to the back-projection mismatch of the disturbed geometry. The evaluations demonstrate the ability of several well-established image features to classify misalignment. The authors elaborated the particular suitability of the gray-level histogram-based entropy on identifying misalignment artifacts, after applying an appropriate window level (bone window). Some of the proposed feature extraction algorithms show a strong correlation with the misalignment level. Especially, entropy-based methods showed very good correspondence, with the best of these being the type that uses the gray-level histogram for calculation. This makes it a suitable image feature for online-calibration.
    Medical Physics 08/2012; 39(8):4918-31. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging allows assessing functional information in addition to morphology using various modalities. Several applications have been established in clinical practice; however, there is no standard with respect to injection protocols or postprocessing algorithms. The purpose of this study was to develop a phantom for generating reproducible contrast-enhancement curves and providing a standard for comparison of different protocols and modalities in dynamic imaging. Our experimental setup consists of a peristaltic pump to generate a water flow through the phantom and a contrast injection pump. The phantom holds a sequence of layers allowing for assessment of perfusion, signal-to-noise ratio, and spatiotemporal resolution; the latter is the spatial resolution of structures with temporally changing contrast. Reproducibility was evaluated by the functional parameters time to peak, mean transit time, and peak enhancement by 24 scans over 4 weeks on a clinical computed tomography scanner. In addition, the area under the curve was evaluated for different injection durations at constant injection volume. Spatiotemporal resolution was assessed by spatial profiles on perfused bore patterns and compared for standard reconstructions, smooth reconstructions, and highly constrained backprojection for local reconstruction (HYPR LR). The phantom showed good reproducibility in repeated measurements, with maximal deviations of 4% for time to peak, 9% for mean transit time, and 8% for peak enhancement. Area under the curve was constant within 3.5% for different injection protocols. For the static case, HYPR LR maintained spatial resolution. For dynamic objects, however, HYPR LR reduced spatial resolution dependent on temporal dynamics by up to 19% for highest dynamics, which was still superior to smooth reconstructions (27%). The proposed phantom showed good reproducibility and therefore allows for comparing injection protocols or modalities in dynamic imaging. Assessment of spatiotemporal resolution under measurement conditions provides means for assessing postprocessing methods and reconstruction techniques in dynamic imaging.
    Investigative radiology 06/2012; 47(8):462-7. · 4.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This Special Report presents the consensus of the Summit on Management of Radiation Dose in Computed Tomography (CT) (held in February 2011), which brought together participants from academia, clinical practice, industry, and regulatory and funding agencies to identify the steps required to reduce the effective dose from routine CT examinations to less than 1 mSv. The most promising technologies and methods discussed at the summit include innovations and developments in x-ray sources; detectors; and image reconstruction, noise reduction, and postprocessing algorithms. Access to raw projection data and standard data sets for algorithm validation and optimization is a clear need, as is the need for new, clinically relevant metrics of image quality and diagnostic performance. Current commercially available techniques such as automatic exposure control, optimization of tube potential, beam-shaping filters, and dynamic z-axis collimators are important, and education to successfully implement these methods routinely is critically needed. Other methods that are just becoming widely available, such as iterative reconstruction, noise reduction, and postprocessing algorithms, will also have an important role. Together, these existing techniques can reduce dose by a factor of two to four. Technical advances that show considerable promise for additional dose reduction but are several years or more from commercial availability include compressed sensing, volume of interest and interior tomography techniques, and photon-counting detectors. This report offers a strategic roadmap for the CT user and research and manufacturer communities toward routinely achieving effective doses of less than 1 mSv, which is well below the average annual dose from naturally occurring sources of radiation.
    Radiology 06/2012; 264(2):567-80. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a new integrated approach for quantitative computed tomography of the knee in order to quantify bone mineral density (BMD) and subchondral bone structure. The present framework consists of image acquisition and reconstruction, 3-D segmentation, determination of anatomic coordinate systems, and reproducible positioning of analysis volumes of interest (VOI). Novel segmentation algorithms were developed to identify growth plates of the tibia and femur and the joint space with high reproducibility. Five different VOIs with varying distance to the articular surface are defined in the epiphysis. Each VOI is further subdivided into a medial and a lateral part. In each VOI, BMD is determined. In addition, a texture analysis is performed on a high-resolution computed tomography (CT) reconstruction of the same CT scan in order to quantify subchondral bone structure. Local and global homogeneity, as well as local and global anisotropy were measured in all VOIs. Overall short-term precision of the technique was evaluated using double measurements of 20 osteoarthritic cadaveric human knees. Precision errors for volume were about 2-3% in the femur and 3-5% in the tibia. Precision errors for BMD were about 1-2% lower. Homogeneity parameters showed precision errors up to about 2% and anisotropy parameters up to about 4%.
    IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering 06/2012; 59(9):2449-58. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Monte Carlo (MC) simulation is an established technique for dose calculation in diagnostic radiology. The major drawback is its high computational demand, which limits the possibility of usage in real-time applications. The aim of this study was to develop fast on-site computed tomography (CT) specific MC dose calculations by using a graphics processing unit (GPU) cluster. GPUs are powerful systems which are especially suited to problems that can be expressed as data-parallel computations. In MC simulations, each photon track is independent of the others; each launched photon can be mapped to one thread on the GPU, thousands of threads are executed in parallel in order to achieve high performance. For further acceleration, the authors considered multiple GPUs. The total computation was divided into different parts which can be calculated in parallel on multiple devices. The GPU cluster is an MC calculation server which is connected to the CT scanner and computes 3D dose distributions on-site immediately after image reconstruction. To estimate the performance gain, the authors benchmarked dose calculation times on a 2.6 GHz Intel Xeon 5430 Quad core workstation equipped with two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 cards. The on-site calculation concept was demonstrated for clinical and preclinical datasets on CT scanners (multislice CT, flat-detector CT, and micro-CT) with varying geometry, spectra, and filtration. To validate the GPU-based MC algorithm, the authors measured dose values on a 64-slice CT system using calibrated ionization chambers and thermoluminesence dosimeters (TLDs) which were placed inside standard cylindrical polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantoms. The dose values and profiles obtained by GPU-based MC simulations were in the expected good agreement with computed tomography dose index (CTDI) measurements and reference TLD profiles with differences being less than 5%. For 10(9) photon histories simulated in a 256 × 256 × 12 voxel thorax dataset with voxel size of 1.36 × 1.36 × 3.00 mm(3), calculation times of about 70 and 24 min were necessary with single-core and multiple-core central processing unit (CPU) solutions, respectively. Using GPUs, the same MC calculations were performed in 1.27 min (single card) and 0.65 min (two cards) without a loss in quality. Simulations were thus speeded up by factors up to 55 and 36 compared to single-core and multiple-core CPU, respectively. The performance scaled nearly linearly with the number of GPUs. Tests confirmed that the proposed GPU-based MC tool can be easily adapted to different types of CT scanners and used as service providers for fast on-site dose calculations. The Monte Carlo software package provides fast on-site calculation of 3D dose distributions in the CT suite which makes it a practical tool for any type of CT-specific application.
    Medical Physics 06/2012; 39(6):2985-96. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To optimize micro-CT protocols with respect to x-ray spectra and thereby reduce radiation dose at unimpaired image quality. Simulations were performed to assess image contrast, noise, and radiation dose for different imaging tasks. The figure of merit used to determine the optimal spectrum was the dose-weighted contrast-to-noise ratio (CNRD). Both optimal photon energy and tube voltage were considered. Three different types of filtration were investigated for polychromatic x-ray spectra: 0.5 mm Al, 3.0 mm Al, and 0.2 mm Cu. Phantoms consisted of water cylinders of 20, 32, and 50 mm in diameter with a central insert of 9 mm which was filled with different contrast materials: an iodine-based contrast medium (CM) to mimic contrast-enhanced (CE) imaging, hydroxyapatite to mimic bone structures, and water with reduced density to mimic soft tissue contrast. Validation measurements were conducted on a commercially available micro-CT scanner using phantoms consisting of water-equivalent plastics. Measurements on a mouse cadaver were performed to assess potential artifacts like beam hardening and to further validate simulation results. The optimal photon energy for CE imaging was found at 34 keV. For bone imaging, optimal energies were 17, 20, and 23 keV for the 20, 32, and 50 mm phantom, respectively. For density differences, optimal energies varied between 18 and 50 keV for the 20 and 50 mm phantom, respectively. For the 32 mm phantom and density differences, CNRD was found to be constant within 2.5% for the energy range of 21-60 keV. For polychromatic spectra and CMs, optimal settings were 50 kV with 0.2 mm Cu filtration, allowing for a dose reduction of 58% compared to the optimal setting for 0.5 mm Al filtration. For bone imaging, optimal tube voltages were below 35 kV. For soft tissue imaging, optimal tube settings strongly depended on phantom size. For 20 mm, low voltages were preferred. For 32 mm, CNRD was found to be almost independent of tube voltage. For 50 mm, voltages larger than 50 kV were preferred. For all three phantom sizes stronger filtration led to notable dose reduction for soft tissue imaging. Validation measurements were found to match simulations well, with deviations being less than 10%. Mouse measurements confirmed simulation results. Optimal photon energies and tube settings strongly depend on both phantom size and imaging task at hand. For in vivo CE imaging and density differences, strong filtration and voltages of 50-65 kV showed good overall results. For soft tissue imaging of animals the size of a rat or larger, voltages higher than 65 kV allow to greatly reduce scan times while maintaining dose efficiency. For imaging of bone structures, usage of only minimum filtration and low tube voltages of 40 kV and below allow exploiting the high contrast of bone at very low energies. Therefore, a combination of two filtrations could prove beneficial for micro-CT: a soft filtration allowing for bone imaging at low voltages, and a variable stronger filtration (e.g., 0.2 mm Cu) for soft tissue and contrast-enhanced imaging.
    Medical Physics 06/2012; 39(6):3229-39. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the biggest challenges in dynamic contrast-enhanced CT is the optimal synchronization of scan start and duration with contrast medium administration in order to optimize image contrast and to reduce the amount of contrast medium. We present a new optically based approach, which was developed to investigate and optimize bolus timing and shape. The time-concentration curve of an intravenously injected test bolus of a dye is measured in peripheral vessels with an optical sensor prior to the diagnostic CT scan. The curves can be used to assess bolus shapes as a function of injection protocols and to determine contrast medium arrival times. Preliminary results for phantom and animal experiments showed the expected linear behavior between dye concentration and absorption. The kinetics of the dye was compared to iodinated contrast medium and was found to be in good agreement. The contrast enhancement curves were reliably detected in three mice with individual bolus shapes and delay times of 2.1, 3.5 and 6.1 s, respectively. The optical sensor appears to be a promising approach to optimize injection protocols and contrast enhancement timing and is applicable to all modalities without implying any additional radiation dose. Clinical tests are still necessary.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 04/2012; 57(10):N173-82. · 2.70 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Modern computed tomography (CT) systems are supporting increasingly fast rotation speeds, which are a prerequisite for fast dynamic acquisition, e.g. in perfusion imaging, and for new modalities such as dedicated breast CT, where breathhold scanning is indicated. However, not all detector technologies are supporting the high frame rates that are necessary to retain high resolution for objects far away from the isocenter. Even on systems that would support a sufficiently high frame rate, the necessary bandwidth of the data transfer from the rotating gantry stills remains challenging. The authors evaluated a pixel shifting technique termed time-delayed summation (TDS) as a method of increasing resolution on fast rotating CT systems without the need to increase the frame rate. In TDS mode, detector pixel values are shifted along rows during image acquisition to compensate for detector motion. In order to fully exploit TDS, focal spot position control (FSC) was used in combination with TDS. FSC applies a counter movement to the x-ray focal spot during image acquisition such that it is kept fixed in space. As a proof of concept, measurements were performed on a prototype photon counting detector capable of TDS. The detector was mounted on a movable table and a gold wire phantom was imaged with different TDS settings and detector velocities. Additionally, simulations of a broad range of TDS and FSC settings on two different modalities, a clinical CT scanner and a breast CT scanner, and two different detector geometries, flat and cylindrical, were performed to assess the gain in resolution and contrast in cylindrical water phantoms containing a small wire at distances from the phantom center varied from 5% to 90% of the phantom radius. As figures of merit, the modulation transfer function (MTF) at 10% and the maximum contrast were used and compared against the respective values when using step-and-shoot acquisition, which means stopping the rotation when a projection image is acquired. Measurements showed that detector movement and the resulting blurring of the wire projections were compensated to the expected degree when using the appropriate number of TDS shifts per frame (TDS factor). Using simulations it was found that when using the optimal TDS factor, over 90% of the resolution achieved in step-and-shot mode was reached for all investigated wire positions. TDS showed better performance on a cylindrical detector that on the same system with a flat detector. TDS factors that were deviating from the optimum by more than 1 shift led to a performance below that of standard continuous acquisition. The findings of this study encourage the combined usage of TDS and FSC in systems that require fast rotation. The integration of TDS in state-of-the-art x-ray detectors is feasible.
    Medical Physics 04/2012; 39(4):2249-60. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tissue- and water-equivalent materials (TEMs) are widely used in quality assurance and calibration procedures, both in radiodiagnostics and radiotherapy. In radiotherapy, particularly, the TEMs are often used for computed tomography (CT) number calibration in treatment planning systems. However, currently available TEMs may not be very accurate in the determination of the calibration curves due to their limitation in mimicking radiation characteristics of the corresponding real tissues in both low- and high-energy ranges. Therefore, we are proposing a new formulation of TEMs using a stoichiometric analysis method to obtain TEMs for the calibration purposes. We combined the stoichiometric calibration and the basic data method to compose base materials to develop TEMs matching standard real tissues from ICRU Report 44 and 46. First, the CT numbers of six materials with known elemental compositions were measured to get constants for the stoichiometric calibration. The results of the stoichiometric calibration were used together with the basic data method to formulate new TEMs. These new TEMs were scanned to validate their CT numbers. The electron density and the stopping power calibration curves were also generated. The absolute differences of the measured CT numbers of the new TEMs were less than 4 HU for the soft tissues and less than 22 HU for the bone compared to the ICRU real tissues. Furthermore, the calculated relative electron density and electron and proton stopping powers of the new TEMs differed by less than 2% from the corresponding ICRU real tissues. The new TEMs which were formulated using the proposed technique increase the simplicity of the calibration process and preserve the accuracy of the stoichiometric calibration simultaneously.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 03/2012; 57(5):1173-90. · 2.70 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
818.87 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Autonomous University of Queretaro
      Ciudad Queretaro, Querétaro, Mexico
  • 1998–2012
    • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
      • • Institute of Physics
      • • Department of Diagnostic Radiology
      Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany
  • 1995–2012
    • Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      Erlangen, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2008
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Radiology
      Chicago, IL, United States
  • 2007
    • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
      • Department of Radiology
      Scottsdale, AZ, United States
  • 2001
    • Phoenix Center
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 1997–1999
    • IST Austria
      Klosterneuberg, Lower Austria, Austria
  • 1994
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
      Seattle, WA, United States
  • 1988–1991
    • Free University of Brussels
      • Department of Radiology
      Brussels, BRU, Belgium
    • Siemens
      München, Bavaria, Germany