Publications (3)5.66 Total impact
Article: Task-based modeling and optimization of a cone-beam CT scanner for musculoskeletal imaging.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This work applies a cascaded systems model for cone-beam CT imaging performance to the design and optimization of a system for musculoskeletal extremity imaging. The model provides a quantitative guide to the selection of system geometry, source and detector components, acquisition techniques, and reconstruction parameters. The model is based on cascaded systems analysis of the 3D noise-power spectrum (NPS) and noise-equivalent quanta (NEQ) combined with factors of system geometry (magnification, focal spot size, and scatter-to-primary ratio) and anatomical background clutter. The model was extended to task-based analysis of detectability index (d') for tasks ranging in contrast and frequency content, and d' was computed as a function of system magnification, detector pixel size, focal spot size, kVp, dose, electronic noise, voxel size, and reconstruction filter to examine trade-offs and optima among such factors in multivariate analysis. The model was tested quantitatively versus the measured NPS and qualitatively in cadaver images as a function of kVp, dose, pixel size, and reconstruction filter under conditions corresponding to the proposed scanner. The analysis quantified trade-offs among factors of spatial resolution, noise, and dose. System magnification (M) was a critical design parameter with strong effect on spatial resolution, dose, and x-ray scatter, and a fairly robust optimum was identified at M ∼ 1.3 for the imaging tasks considered. The results suggested kVp selection in the range of ∼65-90 kVp, the lower end (65 kVp) maximizing subject contrast and the upper end maximizing NEQ (90 kVp). The analysis quantified fairly intuitive results-e.g., ∼0.1-0.2 mm pixel size (and a sharp reconstruction filter) optimal for high-frequency tasks (bone detail) compared to ∼0.4 mm pixel size (and a smooth reconstruction filter) for low-frequency (soft-tissue) tasks. This result suggests a specific protocol for 1 × 1 (full-resolution) projection data acquisition followed by full-resolution reconstruction with a sharp filter for high-frequency tasks along with 2 × 2 binning reconstruction with a smooth filter for low-frequency tasks. The analysis guided selection of specific source and detector components implemented on the proposed scanner. The analysis also quantified the potential benefits and points of diminishing return in focal spot size, reduced electronic noise, finer detector pixels, and low-dose limits of detectability. Theoretical results agreed quantitatively with the measured NPS and qualitatively with evaluation of cadaver images by a musculoskeletal radiologist. A fairly comprehensive model for 3D imaging performance in cone-beam CT combines factors of quantum noise, system geometry, anatomical background, and imaging task. The analysis provided a valuable, quantitative guide to design, optimization, and technique selection for a musculoskeletal extremities imaging system under development.Medical Physics 10/2011; 38(10):5612-29. · 2.83 Impact Factor
Article: A dedicated cone-beam CT system for musculoskeletal extremities imaging: design, optimization, and initial performance characterization.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This paper reports on the design and initial imaging performance of a dedicated cone-beam CT (CBCT) system for musculoskeletal (MSK) extremities. The system complements conventional CT and MR and offers a variety of potential clinical and logistical advantages that are likely to be of benefit to diagnosis, treatment planning, and assessment of therapy response in MSK radiology, orthopaedic surgery, and rheumatology. The scanner design incorporated a host of clinical requirements (e.g., ability to scan the weight-bearing knee in a natural stance) and was guided by theoretical and experimental analysis of image quality and dose. Such criteria identified the following basic scanner components and system configuration: a flat-panel detector (FPD, Varian 3030+, 0.194 mm pixels); and a low-power, fixed anode x-ray source with 0.5 mm focal spot (SourceRay XRS-125-7K-P, 0.875 kW) mounted on a retractable C-arm allowing for two scanning orientations with the capability for side entry, viz. a standing configuration for imaging of weight-bearing lower extremities and a sitting configuration for imaging of tensioned upper extremity and unloaded lower extremity. Theoretical modeling employed cascaded systems analysis of modulation transfer function (MTF) and detective quantum efficiency (DQE) computed as a function of system geometry, kVp and filtration, dose, source power, etc. Physical experimentation utilized an imaging bench simulating the scanner geometry for verification of theoretical results and investigation of other factors, such as antiscatter grid selection and 3D image quality in phantom and cadaver, including qualitative comparison to conventional CT. Theoretical modeling and benchtop experimentation confirmed the basic suitability of the FPD and x-ray source mentioned above. Clinical requirements combined with analysis of MTF and DQE yielded the following system geometry: a -55 cm source-to-detector distance; 1.3 magnification; a 20 cm diameter bore (20 x 20 x 20 cm3 field of view); total acquisition arc of -240 degrees. The system MTF declines to 50% at -1.3 mm(-1) and to 10% at -2.7 mm(-1), consistent with sub-millimeter spatial resolution. Analysis of DQE suggested a nominal technique of 90 kVp (+0.3 mm Cu added filtration) to provide high imaging performance from -500 projections at less than -0.5 kW power, implying -6.4 mGy (0.064 mSv) for low-dose protocols and -15 mGy (0.15 mSv) for high-quality protocols. The experimental studies show improved image uniformity and contrast-to-noise ratio (without increase in dose) through incorporation of a custom 10:1 GR antiscatter grid. Cadaver images demonstrate exquisite bone detail, visualization of articular morphology, and soft-tissue visibility comparable to diagnostic CT (10-20 HU contrast resolution). The results indicate that the proposed system will deliver volumetric images of the extremities with soft-tissue contrast resolution comparable to diagnostic CT and improved spatial resolution at potentially reduced dose. Cascaded systems analysis provided a useful basis for system design and optimization without costly repeated experimentation. A combined process of design specification, image quality analysis, clinical feedback, and revision yielded a prototype that is now awaiting clinical pilot studies. Potential advantages of the proposed system include reduced space and cost, imaging of load-bearing extremities, and combined volumetric imaging with real-time fluoroscopy and digital radiography.Medical Physics 08/2011; 38(8):4700-13. · 2.83 Impact Factor
Article: Design and Optimization of a Dedicated Cone-Beam CT System for Musculoskeletal Extremities Imaging[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The design, initial imaging performance, and model-based optimization of a dedicated cone-beam CT (CBCT) scanner for musculoskeletal extremities is presented. The system offers a compact scanner that complements conventional CT and MR by providing sub-mm isotropic spatial resolution, the ability to image weight-bearing extremities, and the capability for integrated real-time fluoroscopy and digital radiography. The scanner employs a flat-panel detector and a fixed anode x-ray source and has a field of view of ~ (20x20x20) cm 3 . The gantry allows a "standing" configuration for imaging of weight-bearing lower extremities and a "sitting" configuration for imaging of upper extremities and unloaded lower extremities. Cascaded systems analysis guided the selection of x-ray technique (e.g., kVp, filtration, and dose) and system design (e.g., magnification factor), yielding input-quantum-limited performance at detector signal of 100 times the electronic noise, while maintaining patient dose below 5 mGy (a factor of ~2-3 less than conventional CT). A magnification of 1.3 optimized tradeoffs between source and detector blur for a 0.5 mm focal spot. A custom antiscatter grid demonstrated significant reduction of artifacts without loss of contrast-to-noise ratio or increase in dose. Image quality in cadaveric specimens was assessed on a CBCT bench, demonstrating exquisite bone detail, visualization of intra-articular morphology, and soft-tissue visibility approaching that of diagnostic CT. The capability to image loaded extremities and conduct multi-modality CBCT/fluoroscopy with improved workflow compared to whole-body CT could be of value in a broad spectrum of applications, including orthopaedics, rheumatology, surgical planning, and treatment assessment. A clinical prototype has been constructed for deployment in pilot study trials.