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Title: Spectral optimization for micro-CT

Abstract

Purpose: To optimize micro-CT protocols with respect to x-ray spectra and thereby reduce radiation dose at unimpaired image quality. Methods: 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. 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 mmmore » 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. Conclusions: 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.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Institute of Medical Physics, University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, Henkestrasse 91, 91052 Erlangen (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22100637
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Medical Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 39; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0094-2405
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; APATITES; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; CONTRAST MEDIA; DOSIMETRY; EFFICIENCY; IMAGE PROCESSING; IN VIVO; KEV RANGE 10-100; MONTE CARLO METHOD; OPTIMIZATION; PERFORMANCE; PHANTOMS; PHOTONS; RADIATION DOSES; SIMULATION; SKELETON; VALIDATION; X-RAY SPECTRA

Citation Formats

Hupfer, Martin, Nowak, Tristan, Brauweiler, Robert, Eisa, Fabian, and Kalender, Willi A. Spectral optimization for micro-CT. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4718575.
Hupfer, Martin, Nowak, Tristan, Brauweiler, Robert, Eisa, Fabian, & Kalender, Willi A. Spectral optimization for micro-CT. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4718575.
Hupfer, Martin, Nowak, Tristan, Brauweiler, Robert, Eisa, Fabian, and Kalender, Willi A. Fri . "Spectral optimization for micro-CT". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4718575.
@article{osti_22100637,
title = {Spectral optimization for micro-CT},
author = {Hupfer, Martin and Nowak, Tristan and Brauweiler, Robert and Eisa, Fabian and Kalender, Willi A.},
abstractNote = {Purpose: To optimize micro-CT protocols with respect to x-ray spectra and thereby reduce radiation dose at unimpaired image quality. Methods: 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. 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. Conclusions: 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.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4718575},
journal = {Medical Physics},
issn = {0094-2405},
number = 6,
volume = 39,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {6}
}