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Title: A simple, direct method for x-ray scatter estimation and correction in digital radiography and cone-beam CT

Abstract

X-ray scatter poses a significant limitation to image quality in cone-beam CT (CBCT), resulting in contrast reduction, image artifacts, and lack of CT number accuracy. We report the performance of a simple scatter correction method in which scatter fluence is estimated directly in each projection from pixel values near the edge of the detector behind the collimator leaves. The algorithm operates on the simple assumption that signal in the collimator shadow is attributable to x-ray scatter, and the 2D scatter fluence is estimated by interpolating between pixel values measured along the top and bottom edges of the detector behind the collimator leaves. The resulting scatter fluence estimate is subtracted from each projection to yield an estimate of the primary-only images for CBCT reconstruction. Performance was investigated in phantom experiments on an experimental CBCT benchtop, and the effect on image quality was demonstrated in patient images (head, abdomen, and pelvis sites) obtained on a preclinical system for CBCT-guided radiation therapy. The algorithm provides significant reduction in scatter artifacts without compromise in contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). For example, in a head phantom, cupping artifact was essentially eliminated, CT number accuracy was restored to within 3%, and CNR (breast-to-water) was improved by up tomore » 50%. Similarly in a body phantom, cupping artifact was reduced by at least a factor of 2 without loss in CNR. Patient images demonstrate significantly increased uniformity, accuracy, and contrast, with an overall improvement in image quality in all sites investigated. Qualitative evaluation illustrates that soft-tissue structures that are otherwise undetectable are clearly delineated in scatter-corrected reconstructions. Since scatter is estimated directly in each projection, the algorithm is robust with respect to system geometry, patient size and heterogeneity, patient motion, etc. Operating without prior information, analytical modeling, or Monte Carlo, the technique is easily incorporated as a preprocessing step in CBCT reconstruction to provide significant scatter reduction.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2M9 (Canada) (and others)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20774971
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 33; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1118/1.2148916; (c) 2006 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; ABDOMEN; ACCURACY; ALGORITHMS; BEAMS; COLLIMATORS; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; CORRECTIONS; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; MAMMARY GLANDS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PATIENTS; PELVIS; PERFORMANCE; PHANTOMS; RADIOTHERAPY

Citation Formats

Siewerdsen, J.H., Daly, M.J., and Bakhtiar, B. A simple, direct method for x-ray scatter estimation and correction in digital radiography and cone-beam CT. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1118/1.2148916.
Siewerdsen, J.H., Daly, M.J., & Bakhtiar, B. A simple, direct method for x-ray scatter estimation and correction in digital radiography and cone-beam CT. United States. doi:10.1118/1.2148916.
Siewerdsen, J.H., Daly, M.J., and Bakhtiar, B. Sun . "A simple, direct method for x-ray scatter estimation and correction in digital radiography and cone-beam CT". United States. doi:10.1118/1.2148916.
@article{osti_20774971,
title = {A simple, direct method for x-ray scatter estimation and correction in digital radiography and cone-beam CT},
author = {Siewerdsen, J.H. and Daly, M.J. and Bakhtiar, B.},
abstractNote = {X-ray scatter poses a significant limitation to image quality in cone-beam CT (CBCT), resulting in contrast reduction, image artifacts, and lack of CT number accuracy. We report the performance of a simple scatter correction method in which scatter fluence is estimated directly in each projection from pixel values near the edge of the detector behind the collimator leaves. The algorithm operates on the simple assumption that signal in the collimator shadow is attributable to x-ray scatter, and the 2D scatter fluence is estimated by interpolating between pixel values measured along the top and bottom edges of the detector behind the collimator leaves. The resulting scatter fluence estimate is subtracted from each projection to yield an estimate of the primary-only images for CBCT reconstruction. Performance was investigated in phantom experiments on an experimental CBCT benchtop, and the effect on image quality was demonstrated in patient images (head, abdomen, and pelvis sites) obtained on a preclinical system for CBCT-guided radiation therapy. The algorithm provides significant reduction in scatter artifacts without compromise in contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). For example, in a head phantom, cupping artifact was essentially eliminated, CT number accuracy was restored to within 3%, and CNR (breast-to-water) was improved by up to 50%. Similarly in a body phantom, cupping artifact was reduced by at least a factor of 2 without loss in CNR. Patient images demonstrate significantly increased uniformity, accuracy, and contrast, with an overall improvement in image quality in all sites investigated. Qualitative evaluation illustrates that soft-tissue structures that are otherwise undetectable are clearly delineated in scatter-corrected reconstructions. Since scatter is estimated directly in each projection, the algorithm is robust with respect to system geometry, patient size and heterogeneity, patient motion, etc. Operating without prior information, analytical modeling, or Monte Carlo, the technique is easily incorporated as a preprocessing step in CBCT reconstruction to provide significant scatter reduction.},
doi = {10.1118/1.2148916},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 33,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • Purpose: Scatter contamination is detrimental to image quality in dedicated cone-beam breast CT (CBBCT), resulting in cupping artifacts and loss of contrast in reconstructed images. Such effects impede visualization of breast lesions and the quantitative accuracy. Previously, we proposed a library-based software approach to suppress scatter on CBBCT images. In this work, we quantify the efficacy and stability of this approach using datasets from 15 human subjects. Methods: A pre-computed scatter library is generated using Monte Carlo simulations for semi-ellipsoid breast models and homogeneous fibroglandular/adipose tissue mixture encompassing the range reported in literature. Projection datasets from 15 human subjects thatmore » cover 95 percentile of breast dimensions and fibroglandular volume fraction were included in the analysis. Our investigations indicate that it is sufficient to consider the breast dimensions alone and variation in fibroglandular fraction does not significantly affect the scatter-to-primary ratio. The breast diameter is measured from a first-pass reconstruction; the appropriate scatter distribution is selected from the library; and, deformed by considering the discrepancy in total projection intensity between the clinical dataset and the simulated semi-ellipsoidal breast. The deformed scatter-distribution is subtracted from the measured projections for scatter correction. Spatial non-uniformity (SNU) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were used as quantitative metrics to evaluate the results. Results: On the 15 patient cases, our method reduced the overall image spatial non-uniformity (SNU) from 7.14%±2.94% (mean ± standard deviation) to 2.47%±0.68% in coronal view and from 10.14%±4.1% to 3.02% ±1.26% in sagittal view. The average contrast to noise ratio (CNR) improved by a factor of 1.49±0.40 in coronal view and by 2.12±1.54 in sagittal view. Conclusion: We demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of a library-based scatter correction method using patient datasets with large variability in breast dimensions and composition. The high computational efficiency and simplicity in implementation make this attractive for clinical implementation. Supported partly by NIH R21EB019597, R21CA134128 and R01CA195512.The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.« less
  • The main components of scatter correction procedures are scatter estimation and a scatter compensation algorithm. This paper completes a previous paper where a general framework for scatter compensation was presented under the prerequisite that a scatter estimation method is already available. In the current paper, the authors give a systematic review of the variety of scatter estimation approaches. Scatter estimation methods are based on measurements, mathematical-physical models, or combinations of both. For completeness they present an overview of measurement-based methods, but the main topic is the theoretically more demanding models, as analytical, Monte-Carlo, and hybrid models. Further classifications are 3Dmore » image-based and 2D projection-based approaches. The authors present a system-theoretic framework, which allows to proceed top-down from a general 3D formulation, by successive approximations, to efficient 2D approaches. A widely useful method is the beam-scatter-kernel superposition approach. Together with the review of standard methods, the authors discuss their limitations and how to take into account the issues of object dependency, spatial variance, deformation of scatter kernels, external and internal absorbers. Open questions for further investigations are indicated. Finally, the authors refer on some special issues and applications, such as bow-tie filter, offset detector, truncated data, and dual-source CT.« less
  • Purpose: To analytically estimate first-order x-ray scatter for kV cone beam x-ray imaging with high computational efficiency. Methods: In calculating first-order scatter using the Klein-Nishina formula, we found that by integrating the point-to-point scatter along an interaction line, a “pencil-beam” scatter kernel (BSK) can be approximated to a quartic expression when the imaging field is small. This BSK model for monoenergetic, 100keV x-rays has been verified on homogeneous cube and cylinder water phantoms by comparing with the exact implementation of KN formula. For heterogeneous medium, the water-equivalent length of a BSK was acquired with an improved Siddon's ray-tracing algorithm, whichmore » was also used in calculating pre- and post- scattering attenuation. To include the electron binding effect for scattering of low-kV photons, the mean corresponding scattering angle is determined from the effective point of scattered photons of a BSK. The behavior of polyenergetic x-rays was also investigated for 120kV x-rays incident to a sandwiched infinite heterogeneous slab phantom, with the electron binding effect incorporated. Exact computation and Monte Carlo simulations were performed for comparisons, using the EGSnrc code package. Results: By reducing the 3D volumetric target (o(n{sup 3})) to 2D pencil-beams (o(n{sup 2})), the computation expense can be generally lowered by n times, which our experience verifies. The scatter distribution on a flat detector shows high agreement between the analytic BSK model and exact calculations. The pixel-to-pixel differences are within (-2%, 2%) for the homogeneous cube and cylinder phantoms and within (0, 6%) for the heterogeneous slab phantom. However, the Monte Carlo simulation shows increased deviation of the BSK model toward detector periphery. Conclusion: The proposed BSK model, accommodating polyenergetic x-rays and electron binding effect at low kV, shows great potential in efficiently estimating the first-order scatter from small imaging fields. We are investigating more thoroughly to improve performance and explore applications.« less
  • Purpose: To determine the spatial distribution of x-ray scatter and scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR) in projections during cone-beam breast CT (CBBCT) with laterally-shifted detector that results in coronal (fan-angle) truncation. Methods: We hypothesized that CBBCT with coronal truncation would lower SPR due to reduction in irradiated breast volume, and that the location of maximum x-ray scatter fluence (scatter-peak) in the detector plane can be determined from the ratio of irradiated-to-total breast volume, breast dimensions and system geometry. Monte Carlo simulations (GEANT4) reflecting a prototype CBBCT system were used to record the position-dependent primary and scatter x-ray photon fluence incident on themore » detector without coronal truncation (full fan-angle, 2f=24-degrees) and with coronal truncation (fan-angle, f+ f=12+2.7-degrees). Semi-ellipsoidal breasts (10/14/18-cm diameter, chest-wall to nipple length: 0.75xdiameter, 2%/14%/100% fibroglandular content) aligned with the axis-of-rotation (AOR) were modeled. Mono-energy photons were simulated and weighted for 2 spectra (49kVp, 1.4-mm Al HVL; 60kVp, 3.76-mm Al HVL). In addition to SPR, the scatter maps were analyzed to identify the location of the scatter-peak. Results: For CBBCT without fan-angle truncation, the scatter-peaks were aligned with the projection of the AOR onto the detector for all breasts. With truncated fan-beam, the scatter-peaks were laterally-shifted from the projection of the AOR along the fan-angle direction by 14/38/70-pixels for 10/14/18-cm diameter breasts. The corresponding theoretical shifts were 14.8/39.7/68-pixels (p=0.47, 2-tailed paired-ratio t-test). Along the cone-angle, the shift in scatter-peaks between truncated and full-fan angle CBBCT were 2/2/4 -pixels for 10/14/18-cm diameter breasts. CBBCT with fan-angle truncation reduced SPR by 14/22/28% for 10/14/18-cm diameter breasts. 60kVp reduced SPR by 21–25% compared to 49kVp. Peak SPR for CBBCT with fan-angle truncation (60kVp) were 0.09/0.25/0.73 for 10/14/18-cm diameter breasts. Conclusion: CBBCT with laterally-shifted detector geometry and with appropriate kVp/beam quality reduces SPR. If residual scatter needs correction, the location corresponding to scatter-peak can be analytically computed. This work was supported in part by NIH R01 CA128906. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not reflect the official views of the NIH or NCI.« less
  • Since scattered radiation in cone-beam volume CT implies severe degradation of CT images by quantification errors, artifacts, and noise increase, scatter suppression is one of the main issues related to image quality in CBCT imaging. The aim of this review is to structurize the variety of scatter suppression methods, to analyze the common structure, and to develop a general framework for scatter correction procedures. In general, scatter suppression combines hardware techniques of scatter rejection and software methods of scatter correction. The authors emphasize that scatter correction procedures consist of the main components scatter estimation (by measurement or mathematical modeling) andmore » scatter compensation (deterministic or statistical methods). The framework comprises most scatter correction approaches and its validity also goes beyond transmission CT. Before the advent of cone-beam CT, a lot of papers on scatter correction approaches in x-ray radiography, mammography, emission tomography, and in Megavolt CT had been published. The opportunity to avail from research in those other fields of medical imaging has not yet been sufficiently exploited. Therefore additional references are included when ever it seems pertinent. Scatter estimation and scatter compensation are typically intertwined in iterative procedures. It makes sense to recognize iterative approaches in the light of the concept of self-consistency. The importance of incorporating scatter compensation approaches into a statistical framework for noise minimization has to be underscored. Signal and noise propagation analysis is presented. A main result is the preservation of differential-signal-to-noise-ratio (dSNR) in CT projection data by ideal scatter correction. The objective of scatter compensation methods is the restoration of quantitative accuracy and a balance between low-contrast restoration and noise reduction. In a synopsis section, the different deterministic and statistical methods are discussed with respect to their properties and applications. The current paper is focused on scatter compensation algorithms. The multitude of scatter estimation models will be dealt with in a separate paper.« less