A three-dimensional reconstruction algorithm for an inverse-geometry volumetric CT system

Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
Medical Physics (Impact Factor: 2.64). 12/2005; 32(11):3234-45. DOI: 10.1118/1.2064827
Source: PubMed


An inverse-geometry volumetric computed tomography (IGCT) system has been proposed capable of rapidly acquiring sufficient data to reconstruct a thick volume in one circular scan. The system uses a large-area scanned source opposite a smaller detector. The source and detector have the same extent in the axial, or slice, direction, thus providing sufficient volumetric sampling and avoiding cone-beam artifacts. This paper describes a reconstruction algorithm for the IGCT system. The algorithm first rebins the acquired data into two-dimensional (2D) parallel-ray projections at multiple tilt and azimuthal angles, followed by a 3D filtered backprojection. The rebinning step is performed by gridding the data onto a Cartesian grid in a 4D projection space. We present a new method for correcting the gridding error caused by the finite and asymmetric sampling in the neighborhood of each output grid point in the projection space. The reconstruction algorithm was implemented and tested on simulated IGCT data. Results show that the gridding correction reduces the gridding errors to below one Hounsfield unit. With this correction, the reconstruction algorithm does not introduce significant artifacts or blurring when compared to images reconstructed from simulated 2D parallel-ray projections. We also present an investigation of the noise behavior of the method which verifies that the proposed reconstruction algorithm utilizes cross-plane rays as efficiently as in-plane rays and can provide noise comparable to an in-plane parallel-ray geometry for the same number of photons. Simulations of a resolution test pattern and the modulation transfer function demonstrate that the IGCT system, using the proposed algorithm, is capable of 0.4 mm isotropic resolution. The successful implementation of the reconstruction algorithm is an important step in establishing feasibility of the IGCT system.

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    ABSTRACT: A table-top volumetric CT system has been implemented that is able to image a 5-cm-thick volume in one circular scan with no cone-beam artifacts. The prototype inverse-geometry CT (IGCT) scanner consists of a large-area, scanned x-ray source and a detector array that is smaller in the transverse direction. The IGCT geometry provides sufficient volumetric sampling because the source and detector have the same axial, or slice direction, extent. This paper describes the implementation of the table-top IGCT scanner, which is based on the NexRay Scanning-Beam Digital X-ray system (NexRay, Inc., Los Gatos, CA) and an investigation of the system performance. The alignment and flat-field calibration procedures are described, along with a summary of the reconstruction algorithm. The resolution and noise performance of the prototype IGCT system are studied through experiments and further supported by analytical predictions and simulations. To study the presence of cone-beam artifacts, a "Defrise" phantom was scanned on both the prototype IGCT scanner and a micro CT system with a +/-5 cone angle for a 4.5-cm volume thickness. Images of inner ear specimens are presented and compared to those from clinical CT systems. Results showed that the prototype IGCT system has a 0.25-mm isotropic resolution and that noise comparable to that from a clinical scanner with equivalent spatial resolution is achievable. The measured MTF and noise values agreed reasonably well with theoretical predictions and computer simulations. The IGCT system was able to faithfully reconstruct the laminated pattern of the Defrise phantom while the micro CT system suffered severe cone-beam artifacts for the same object. The inner ear acquisition verified that the IGCT system can image a complex anatomical object, and the resulting images exhibited more high-resolution details than the clinical CT acquisition. Overall, the successful implementation of the prototype system supports the IGCT concept for single-rotation volumetric scanning free from cone-beam artifacts.
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