skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT

Abstract

Purpose: The authors evaluate the energy dependent noise and bias properties of monoenergetic images synthesized from dual-energy CT (DECT) acquisitions. These monoenergetic images can be used to estimate attenuation coefficients at energies suitable for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This is becoming more relevant with the increased use of quantitative imaging by PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners. There are, however, potential variations in the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images as a function of energy. Methods: The authors used analytic approximations and simulations to estimate the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images of water-filled cylinders with different shapes and the NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom from 40 to 520 keV, the range of SPECT and PET energies. The dual-kVp spectra were based on the GE Lightspeed VCT scanner at 80 and 140 kVp with added filtration of 0.5 mm Cu. The authors evaluated strategies of noise suppression with sinogram smoothing and dose minimization with reduction of tube currents at the two kVp settings. The authors compared the impact of DECT-based attenuation correction with single-kVp CT-based attenuation correction on PET quantitation for the NCAT phantom for soft tissue and high-Z materials of bone and iodinemore » contrast enhancement. Results: Both analytic calculations and simulations displayed the expected minimum noise value for a synthesized monoenergetic image at an energy between the mean energies of the two spectra. In addition the authors found that the normalized coefficient of variation in the synthesized attenuation map increased with energy but reached a plateau near 160 keV, and then remained constant with increasing energy up to 511 keV and beyond. The bias was minimal, as the linear attenuation coefficients of the synthesized monoenergetic images were within 2.4% of the known true values across the entire energy range. Compared with no sinogram smoothing, sinogram smoothing can dramatically reduce noise in the DECT-derived attenuation map. Through appropriate selection of tube currents for high and low kVp scans, DECT can deliver roughly the same amount of radiation dose as that of a single kVp CT scan, but could be used for PET attenuation correction with reduced bias in contrast agent regions by a factor of ∼2.6 and slightly reduced RMSE for the total image. Conclusions: When DECT is used for attenuation correction at higher energies, there is a noise amplification that is dependent on the energy of the synthesized monoenergetic image of linear attenuation coefficients. Sinogram smoothing reduces the noise amplification in DECT-derived attenuation maps without increasing bias. With an appropriate selection of CT techniques, a DECT scan with the same radiation dose as a single CT scan can result in a PET image with improved quantitative accuracy.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 (United States)
  2. Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 (United States)
  3. Departments of Radiology and Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98105 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251300
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 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; ATTENUATION; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; CORRECTIONS; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; NOISE; PHANTOMS; POSITRON COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; RADIATION DOSES; SINGLE PHOTON EMISSION COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; SKELETON

Citation Formats

Xia, Ting, Alessio, Adam M., and Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu. Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4828838.
Xia, Ting, Alessio, Adam M., & Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu. Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4828838.
Xia, Ting, Alessio, Adam M., and Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu. 2014. "Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4828838.
@article{osti_22251300,
title = {Dual energy CT for attenuation correction with PET/CT},
author = {Xia, Ting and Alessio, Adam M. and Kinahan, Paul E., E-mail: kinahan@uw.edu},
abstractNote = {Purpose: The authors evaluate the energy dependent noise and bias properties of monoenergetic images synthesized from dual-energy CT (DECT) acquisitions. These monoenergetic images can be used to estimate attenuation coefficients at energies suitable for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This is becoming more relevant with the increased use of quantitative imaging by PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners. There are, however, potential variations in the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images as a function of energy. Methods: The authors used analytic approximations and simulations to estimate the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images of water-filled cylinders with different shapes and the NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom from 40 to 520 keV, the range of SPECT and PET energies. The dual-kVp spectra were based on the GE Lightspeed VCT scanner at 80 and 140 kVp with added filtration of 0.5 mm Cu. The authors evaluated strategies of noise suppression with sinogram smoothing and dose minimization with reduction of tube currents at the two kVp settings. The authors compared the impact of DECT-based attenuation correction with single-kVp CT-based attenuation correction on PET quantitation for the NCAT phantom for soft tissue and high-Z materials of bone and iodine contrast enhancement. Results: Both analytic calculations and simulations displayed the expected minimum noise value for a synthesized monoenergetic image at an energy between the mean energies of the two spectra. In addition the authors found that the normalized coefficient of variation in the synthesized attenuation map increased with energy but reached a plateau near 160 keV, and then remained constant with increasing energy up to 511 keV and beyond. The bias was minimal, as the linear attenuation coefficients of the synthesized monoenergetic images were within 2.4% of the known true values across the entire energy range. Compared with no sinogram smoothing, sinogram smoothing can dramatically reduce noise in the DECT-derived attenuation map. Through appropriate selection of tube currents for high and low kVp scans, DECT can deliver roughly the same amount of radiation dose as that of a single kVp CT scan, but could be used for PET attenuation correction with reduced bias in contrast agent regions by a factor of ∼2.6 and slightly reduced RMSE for the total image. Conclusions: When DECT is used for attenuation correction at higher energies, there is a noise amplification that is dependent on the energy of the synthesized monoenergetic image of linear attenuation coefficients. Sinogram smoothing reduces the noise amplification in DECT-derived attenuation maps without increasing bias. With an appropriate selection of CT techniques, a DECT scan with the same radiation dose as a single CT scan can result in a PET image with improved quantitative accuracy.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4828838},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 1,
volume = 41,
place = {United States},
year = 2014,
month = 1
}
  • The authors have developed a prototype emission-transmission computed tomographic (ETCT) system, which can acquire both radionuclide-emission and dual-energy X-ray transmission data. The dual-energy X-ray data are used to synthesize an object and energy-specific attenuation map which is incorporated into an ML-EM algorithm to reconstruct an attenuation corrected SPECT image. The technique was applied to a thoraxlike phantom with regions simulating lung, background and cardiac regions, and bone. SPECT images reconstructed with no attenuation correction, or with a uniform water-equivalent map, contained increased count levels in the lung region and reduced count levels in the cardiac region as compared with themore » radioactivity concentrations contained in the phantom. Use of an object-specific attenuation map improved the accuracy of the reconstruction, but overestimated the activity in the cardiac chamber by about 10%. This error was reduced to about 5% when the attenuation coefficients were modified to include the effects of scattered radiation.« less
  • Purpose: The authors evaluate the energy dependent noise and bias properties of monoenergetic images synthesized from dual-energy CT (DECT) acquisitions. These monoenergetic images can be used to estimate attenuation coefficients at energies suitable for positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This is becoming more relevant with the increased use of quantitative imaging by PET/CT and SPECT/CT scanners. There are, however, potential variations in the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images as a function of energy. Methods: The authors used analytic approximations and simulations to estimate the noise and bias of synthesized monoenergetic images ofmore » water-filled cylinders with different shapes and the NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT) phantom from 40 to 520 keV, the range of SPECT and PET energies. The dual-kVp spectra were based on the GE Lightspeed VCT scanner at 80 and 140 kVp with added filtration of 0.5 mm Cu. The authors evaluated strategies of noise suppression with sinogram smoothing and dose minimization with reduction of tube currents at the two kVp settings. The authors compared the impact of DECT-based attenuation correction with single-kVp CT-based attenuation correction on PET quantitation for the NCAT phantom for soft tissue and high-Z materials of bone and iodine contrast enhancement. Results: Both analytic calculations and simulations displayed the expected minimum noise value for a synthesized monoenergetic image at an energy between the mean energies of the two spectra. In addition the authors found that the normalized coefficient of variation in the synthesized attenuation map increased with energy but reached a plateau near 160 keV, and then remained constant with increasing energy up to 511 keV and beyond. The bias was minimal, as the linear attenuation coefficients of the synthesized monoenergetic images were within 2.4% of the known true values across the entire energy range. Compared with no sinogram smoothing, sinogram smoothing can dramatically reduce noise in the DECT-derived attenuation map. Through appropriate selection of tube currents for high and low kVp scans, DECT can deliver roughly the same amount of radiation dose as that of a single kVp CT scan, but could be used for PET attenuation correction with reduced bias in contrast agent regions by a factor of ∼2.6 and slightly reduced RMSE for the total image. Conclusions: When DECT is used for attenuation correction at higher energies, there is a noise amplification that is dependent on the energy of the synthesized monoenergetic image of linear attenuation coefficients. Sinogram smoothing reduces the noise amplification in DECT-derived attenuation maps without increasing bias. With an appropriate selection of CT techniques, a DECT scan with the same radiation dose as a single CT scan can result in a PET image with improved quantitative accuracy.« less
  • Purpose: Absorbed dose energy correction factors, used to convert the absorbed dose deposited in a LiF thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) into the clinically relevant absorbed dose to water, were obtained for both spherical volumetric sources and for the model 4140 HDR Yb-169 source. These correction factors have a strong energy dependence below 200 keV; therefore, spectral changes were quantified as Yb-169 photons traveled through both source material (Yb{sub 2}O{sub 3}) and water with the corresponding absorbed dose energy correction factors, f(r,{theta}), calculated as a function of location in a phantom. Methods: Using the MCNP5 Monte Carlo radiation transport simulation program, themore » Yb-169 spectrum emerging from spherical Yb{sub 2}O{sub 3} sources (density 6.9 g/cm{sup 3}) with radii between 0.2 and 0.9 mm were analyzed and their behavior compared against those for a point-source. The absorbed dose deposited to both LiF and H{sub 2}O materials was analyzed at phantom depths of 0.1-10 cm for each source radius and the absorbed dose energy correction factor calculated as the ratio of the absorbed dose to water to that of LiF. Absorbed dose energy correction factors for the Model 4140 Yb-169 HDR brachytherapy source similarly were obtained and compared against those calculated for the Model M-19 Ir-192 HDR source. Results: The Yb-169 average spectral energy, emerging from Yb{sub 2}O{sub 3} spherical sources 0.2-0.9 mm in radius, was observed to harden from 7% to 29%; as these photons traveled through the water phantom, the photon average energy softened by as much as 28% at a depth of 10 cm. Spectral softening was dependent on the measurement depth in the phantom. Energy correction factors were found to vary both as a function of source radius and phantom depth by as much as 10% for spherical Yb{sub 2}O{sub 3} sources. The Model 4140 Yb-169 energy correction factors depended on both phantom depth and reference angle and were found to vary by more than 10% between depths of 1 and 10 cm and angles of 0 deg. and 180 deg. This was in contrast to that of the Model M-19 Ir-192 source which exhibited approximately 3.5%-4.4% variation in its energy correction factors from phantom depths of 0.5-10 cm. The absorbed dose energy correction factor for the Ir-192 source, on the other hand, was independent of angle to within 1%. Conclusions: The application of a single energy correction factor for Yb-169 TLD based dosimetry would introduce a high degree of measurement uncertainty that may not be reasonable for the clinical characterization of a brachytherapy source; rather, an absorbed dose energy correction function will need to be developed for these sources. This correction function should be specific to each source model, type of TLD used, and to the experimental setup to obtain accurate and precise dosimetric measurements.« less
  • The article explains the method of selecting the optimum energy for correcting the energy selectivity of tomographic projection and the optimum length of the crystals corresponding to it when the dual energy method in computerized tomography is used. The results of numerical calculations for actual materials and of the registration by count are presented.
  • Purpose: Accurate patient-specific photon cross-section information is needed to support more accurate model-based dose calculation for low energy photon-emitting modalities in medicine such as brachytherapy and kilovoltage x-ray imaging procedures. A postprocessing dual-energy CT (pDECT) technique for noninvasivein vivo estimation of photon linear attenuation coefficients has been experimentally implemented on a commercial CT scanner and its accuracy assessed in idealized phantom geometries. Methods: Eight test materials of known composition and density were used to compare pDECT-estimated linear attenuation coefficients to NIST reference values over an energy range from 10 keV to 1 MeV. As statistical image reconstruction (SIR) has beenmore » shown to reconstruct images with less random and systematic error than conventional filtered backprojection (FBP), the pDECT technique was implemented with both an in-house polyenergetic SIR algorithm, alternating minimization (AM), as well as a conventional FBP reconstruction algorithm. Improvement from increased spectral separation was also investigated by filtering the high-energy beam with an additional 0.5 mm of tin. The law of propagated uncertainty was employed to assess the sensitivity of the pDECT process to errors in reconstructed images. Results: Mean pDECT-estimated linear attenuation coefficients for the eight test materials agreed within 1% of NIST reference values for energies from 1 MeV down to 30 keV, with mean errors rising to between 3% and 6% at 10 keV, indicating that the method is unbiased when measurement and calibration phantom geometries are matched. Reconstruction with FBP and AM algorithms conferred similar mean pDECT accuracy. However, single-voxel pDECT estimates reconstructed on a 1 × 1 × 3 mm{sup 3} grid are shown to be highly sensitive to reconstructed image uncertainty; in some cases pDECT attenuation coefficient estimates exhibited standard deviations on the order of 20% around the mean. Reconstruction with the statistical AM algorithm led to standard deviations roughly 40% to 60% less than FBP reconstruction. Additional tin filtration of the high energy beam exhibits similar pDECT estimation accuracy as the unfiltered beam, even when scanning with only 25% of the dose. Using the law of propagated uncertainty, low Z materials are found to be more sensitive to image reconstruction errors than high Z materials. Furthermore, it is estimated that reconstructed CT image uncertainty must be limited to less than 0.25% to achieve a target linear-attenuation coefficient estimation uncertainty of 3% at 28 keV. Conclusions: That pDECT supports mean linear attenuation coefficient measurement accuracies of 1% of reference values for energies greater than 30 keV is encouraging. However, the sensitivity of the pDECT measurements to noise and systematic errors in reconstructed CT images warrants further investigation in more complex phantom geometries. The investigated statistical reconstruction algorithm, AM, reduced random measurement uncertainty relative to FBP owing to improved noise performance. These early results also support efforts to increase DE spectral separation, which can further reduce the pDECT sensitivity to measurement uncertainty.« less