Scatter correction in cone-beam CT via a half beam blocker technique allowing simultaneous acquisition of scatter and image information

Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5847, USA.
Medical Physics (Impact Factor: 2.64). 05/2012; 39(5):2386-95. DOI: 10.1118/1.3691901
Source: PubMed


X-ray scatter incurred to detectors degrades the quality of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and represents a problem in volumetric image guided and adaptive radiation therapy. Several methods using a beam blocker for the estimation and subtraction of scatter have been proposed. However, due to missing information resulting from the obstruction of the blocker, such methods require dual scanning or dynamically moving blocker to obtain a complete volumetric image. Here, we propose a half beam blocker-based approach, in conjunction with a total variation (TV) regularized Feldkamp-Davis-Kress (FDK) algorithm, to correct scatter-induced artifacts by simultaneously acquiring image and scatter information from a single-rotation CBCT scan.
A half beam blocker, comprising lead strips, is used to simultaneously acquire image data on one side of the projection data and scatter data on the other half side. One-dimensional cubic B-Spline interpolation/extrapolation is applied to derive patient specific scatter information by using the scatter distributions on strips. The estimated scatter is subtracted from the projection image acquired at the opposite view. With scatter-corrected projections where this subtraction is completed, the FDK algorithm based on a cosine weighting function is performed to reconstruct CBCT volume. To suppress the noise in the reconstructed CBCT images produced by geometric errors between two opposed projections and interpolated scatter information, total variation regularization is applied by a minimization using a steepest gradient descent optimization method. The experimental studies using Catphan504 and anthropomorphic phantoms were carried out to evaluate the performance of the proposed scheme.
The scatter-induced shading artifacts were markedly suppressed in CBCT using the proposed scheme. Compared with CBCT without a blocker, the nonuniformity value was reduced from 39.3% to 3.1%. The root mean square error relative to values inside the regions of interest selected from a benchmark scatter free image was reduced from 50 to 11.3. The TV regularization also led to a better contrast-to-noise ratio.
An asymmetric half beam blocker-based FDK acquisition and reconstruction technique has been established. The proposed scheme enables simultaneous detection of patient specific scatter and complete volumetric CBCT reconstruction without additional requirements such as prior images, dual scans, or moving strips.

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