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Title: MO-DE-207A-01: Impact of Statistical Weights On Detection of Low-Contrast Details in Model-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction

Abstract

Purpose: Penalized-weighted least-square reconstruction has become an important research topic in CT, to reduce dose without affecting image quality. Two components impact image quality in this reconstruction: the statistical weights and the use of an edge-preserving penalty term. We are interested in assessing the influence of statistical weights on their own, without the edge-preserving feature. Methods: The influence of statistical weights on image quality was assessed in terms of low-contrast detail detection using LROC analysis. The task amounted to detect and localize a 6-mm lesion with random contrast inside the FORBILD head phantom. A two-alternative forced-choice experiment was used with two human observers performing the task. Reconstructions without and with statistical weights were compared, both using the same quadratic penalty term. The beam energy was set to 30keV to amplify spatial differences in attenuation and thereby the role of statistical weights. A fan-beam data acquisition geometry was used. Results: Visual inspection of images clearly showed a difference in noise between the two reconstructions methods. As expected, the reconstruction without statistical weights exhibited noise streaks. The other reconstruction appeared better in this aspect, but presented other disturbing noise patterns and artifacts induced by the weights. The LROC analysis yield the followingmore » 95-percent confidence interval for the difference in reader-averaged AUC (reconstruction without weights minus reconstruction with weights): [0.0026,0.0599]. The mean AUC value was 0.9094. Conclusion: We have investigated the impact of statistical weights without the use of edge-preserving penalty in penalized weighted least-square reconstruction. A decrease rather than increase in image quality was observed when using statistical weights. Thus, the observers were better able to cope with the noise streaks than the noise patterns and artifacts induced by the statistical weights. It may be that different results would be obtained if the penalty term was used with a pixel-dependent weight. F Noo receives research support from Siemens Healthcare GmbH.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22649545
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; DATA ACQUISITION; IMAGES; ITERATIVE METHODS; LEAST SQUARE FIT; NOISE; PRODUCTIVITY

Citation Formats

Noo, F, and Guo, Z. MO-DE-207A-01: Impact of Statistical Weights On Detection of Low-Contrast Details in Model-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4957229.
Noo, F, & Guo, Z. MO-DE-207A-01: Impact of Statistical Weights On Detection of Low-Contrast Details in Model-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4957229.
Noo, F, and Guo, Z. 2016. "MO-DE-207A-01: Impact of Statistical Weights On Detection of Low-Contrast Details in Model-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4957229.
@article{osti_22649545,
title = {MO-DE-207A-01: Impact of Statistical Weights On Detection of Low-Contrast Details in Model-Based Iterative CT Reconstruction},
author = {Noo, F and Guo, Z},
abstractNote = {Purpose: Penalized-weighted least-square reconstruction has become an important research topic in CT, to reduce dose without affecting image quality. Two components impact image quality in this reconstruction: the statistical weights and the use of an edge-preserving penalty term. We are interested in assessing the influence of statistical weights on their own, without the edge-preserving feature. Methods: The influence of statistical weights on image quality was assessed in terms of low-contrast detail detection using LROC analysis. The task amounted to detect and localize a 6-mm lesion with random contrast inside the FORBILD head phantom. A two-alternative forced-choice experiment was used with two human observers performing the task. Reconstructions without and with statistical weights were compared, both using the same quadratic penalty term. The beam energy was set to 30keV to amplify spatial differences in attenuation and thereby the role of statistical weights. A fan-beam data acquisition geometry was used. Results: Visual inspection of images clearly showed a difference in noise between the two reconstructions methods. As expected, the reconstruction without statistical weights exhibited noise streaks. The other reconstruction appeared better in this aspect, but presented other disturbing noise patterns and artifacts induced by the weights. The LROC analysis yield the following 95-percent confidence interval for the difference in reader-averaged AUC (reconstruction without weights minus reconstruction with weights): [0.0026,0.0599]. The mean AUC value was 0.9094. Conclusion: We have investigated the impact of statistical weights without the use of edge-preserving penalty in penalized weighted least-square reconstruction. A decrease rather than increase in image quality was observed when using statistical weights. Thus, the observers were better able to cope with the noise streaks than the noise patterns and artifacts induced by the statistical weights. It may be that different results would be obtained if the penalty term was used with a pixel-dependent weight. F Noo receives research support from Siemens Healthcare GmbH.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4957229},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Purpose: In x-ray computed tomography (CT), a violation of the Tuy data sufficiency condition leads to limited-view artifacts. In some applications, it is desirable to use data corresponding to a narrow temporal window to reconstruct images with reduced temporal-average artifacts. However, the need to reduce temporal-average artifacts in practice may result in a violation of the Tuy condition and thus undesirable limited-view artifacts. In this paper, the authors present a new iterative reconstruction method, synchronized multiartifact reduction with tomographic reconstruction (SMART-RECON), to eliminate limited-view artifacts using data acquired within an ultranarrow temporal window that severely violates the Tuy condition. Methods:more » In time-resolved contrast enhanced CT acquisitions, image contrast dynamically changes during data acquisition. Each image reconstructed from data acquired in a given temporal window represents one time frame and can be denoted as an image vector. Conventionally, each individual time frame is reconstructed independently. In this paper, all image frames are grouped into a spatial–temporal image matrix and are reconstructed together. Rather than the spatial and/or temporal smoothing regularizers commonly used in iterative image reconstruction, the nuclear norm of the spatial–temporal image matrix is used in SMART-RECON to regularize the reconstruction of all image time frames. This regularizer exploits the low-dimensional structure of the spatial–temporal image matrix to mitigate limited-view artifacts when an ultranarrow temporal window is desired in some applications to reduce temporal-average artifacts. Both numerical simulations in two dimensional image slices with known ground truth and in vivo human subject data acquired in a contrast enhanced cone beam CT exam have been used to validate the proposed SMART-RECON algorithm and to demonstrate the initial performance of the algorithm. Reconstruction errors and temporal fidelity of the reconstructed images were quantified using the relative root mean square error (rRMSE) and the universal quality index (UQI) in numerical simulations. The performance of the SMART-RECON algorithm was compared with that of the prior image constrained compressed sensing (PICCS) reconstruction quantitatively in simulations and qualitatively in human subject exam. Results: In numerical simulations, the 240{sup ∘} short scan angular span was divided into four consecutive 60{sup ∘} angular subsectors. SMART-RECON enables four high temporal fidelity images without limited-view artifacts. The average rRMSE is 16% and UQIs are 0.96 and 0.95 for the two local regions of interest, respectively. In contrast, the corresponding average rRMSE and UQIs are 25%, 0.78, and 0.81, respectively, for the PICCS reconstruction. Note that only one filtered backprojection image can be reconstructed from the same data set with an average rRMSE and UQIs are 45%, 0.71, and 0.79, respectively, to benchmark reconstruction accuracies. For in vivo contrast enhanced cone beam CT data acquired from a short scan angular span of 200{sup ∘}, three 66{sup ∘} angular subsectors were used in SMART-RECON. The results demonstrated clear contrast difference in three SMART-RECON reconstructed image volumes without limited-view artifacts. In contrast, for the same angular sectors, PICCS cannot reconstruct images without limited-view artifacts and with clear contrast difference in three reconstructed image volumes. Conclusions: In time-resolved CT, the proposed SMART-RECON method provides a new method to eliminate limited-view artifacts using data acquired in an ultranarrow temporal window, which corresponds to approximately 60{sup ∘} angular subsectors.« less
  • Purpose: The purpose of this study is to propose a new concept of four-dimensional (4D) cone-beam CT (CBCT) reconstruction for non-periodic organ motion using the Time-ordered Chain Graph Model (TCGM), and to compare the reconstructed results with the previously proposed methods, the total variation-based compressed sensing (TVCS) and prior-image constrained compressed sensing (PICCS). Methods: CBCT reconstruction method introduced in this study consisted of maximum a posteriori (MAP) iterative reconstruction combined with a regularization term derived from a concept of TCGM, which includes a constraint coming from the images of neighbouring time-phases. The time-ordered image series were concurrently reconstructed in themore » MAP iterative reconstruction framework. Angular range of projections for each time-phase was 90 degrees for TCGM and PICCS, and 200 degrees for TVCS. Two kinds of projection data, an elliptic-cylindrical digital phantom data and two clinical patients’ data, were used for reconstruction. The digital phantom contained an air sphere moving 3 cm along longitudinal axis, and temporal resolution of each method was evaluated by measuring the penumbral width of reconstructed moving air sphere. The clinical feasibility of non-periodic time-ordered 4D CBCT reconstruction was also examined using projection data of prostate cancer patients. Results: The results of reconstructed digital phantom shows that the penumbral widths of TCGM yielded the narrowest result; PICCS and TCGM were 10.6% and 17.4% narrower than that of TVCS, respectively. This suggests that the TCGM has the better temporal resolution than the others. Patients’ CBCT projection data were also reconstructed and all three reconstructed results showed motion of rectal gas and stool. The result of TCGM provided visually clearer and less blurring images. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that the new concept for 4D CBCT reconstruction, TCGM, combined with MAP iterative reconstruction framework enables time-ordered image reconstruction with narrower time-window.« less
  • Purpose: The introduction of the highly nonlinear MBIR algorithm to clinical CT systems has made CNR an invalid metric for kV optimization. The purpose of this work was to develop a task-based framework to unify kV and mAs optimization for both FBP- and MBIR-based CT systems. Methods: The kV-mAs optimization was formulated as a constrained minimization problem: to select kV and mAs to minimize dose under the constraint of maintaining the detection performance as clinically prescribed. To experimentally solve this optimization problem, exhaustive measurements of detectability index (d’) for a hepatic lesion detection task were performed at 15 different mAmore » levels and 4 kV levels using an anthropomorphic phantom. The measured d’ values were used to generate an iso-detectability map; similarly, dose levels recorded at different kV-mAs combinations were used to generate an iso-dose map. The iso-detectability map was overlaid on top of the iso-dose map so that for a prescribed detectability level d’, the optimal kV-mA can be determined from the crossing between the d’ contour and the dose contour that corresponds to the minimum dose. Results: Taking d’=16 as an example: the kV-mAs combinations on the measured iso-d’ line of MBIR are 80–150 (3.8), 100–140 (6.6), 120–150 (11.3), and 140–160 (17.2), where values in the parentheses are measured dose values. As a Result, the optimal kV was 80 and optimal mA was 150. In comparison, the optimal kV and mA for FBP were 100 and 500, which corresponded to a dose level of 24 mGy. Results of in vivo animal experiments were consistent with the phantom results. Conclusion: A new method to optimize kV and mAs selection has been developed. This method is applicable to both linear and nonlinear CT systems such as those using MBIR. Additional dose savings can be achieved by combining MBIR with this method. This work was partially supported by an NIH grant R01CA169331 and GE Healthcare. K. Li, D. Gomez-Cardona, M. G. Lubner: Nothing to disclose. P. J. Pickhardt: Co-founder, VirtuoCTC, LLC Stockholder, Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. G.-H. Chen: Research funded, GE Healthcare; Research funded, Siemens AX.« less
  • Purpose: To reduce radiation dose in CT imaging, the statistical model based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) method has been introduced for clinical use. Based on the principle of MBIR and its nonlinear nature, the noise performance of MBIR is expected to be different from that of the well-understood filtered backprojection (FBP) reconstruction method. The purpose of this work is to experimentally assess the unique noise characteristics of MBIR using a state-of-the-art clinical CT system. Methods: Three physical phantoms, including a water cylinder and two pediatric head phantoms, were scanned in axial scanning mode using a 64-slice CT scanner (Discovery CT750 HD,more » GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) at seven different mAs levels (5, 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, 300). At each mAs level, each phantom was repeatedly scanned 50 times to generate an image ensemble for noise analysis. Both the FBP method with a standard kernel and the MBIR method (Veo{sup ®}, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) were used for CT image reconstruction. Three-dimensional (3D) noise power spectrum (NPS), two-dimensional (2D) NPS, and zero-dimensional NPS (noise variance) were assessed both globally and locally. Noise magnitude, noise spatial correlation, noise spatial uniformity and their dose dependence were examined for the two reconstruction methods. Results: (1) At each dose level and at each frequency, the magnitude of the NPS of MBIR was smaller than that of FBP. (2) While the shape of the NPS of FBP was dose-independent, the shape of the NPS of MBIR was strongly dose-dependent; lower dose lead to a “redder” NPS with a lower mean frequency value. (3) The noise standard deviation (σ) of MBIR and dose were found to be related through a power law of σ ∝ (dose){sup −β} with the component β ≈ 0.25, which violated the classical σ ∝ (dose){sup −0.5} power law in FBP. (4) With MBIR, noise reduction was most prominent for thin image slices. (5) MBIR lead to better noise spatial uniformity when compared with FBP. (6) A composite image generated from two MBIR images acquired at two different dose levels (D1 and D2) demonstrated lower noise than that of an image acquired at a dose level of D1+D2. Conclusions: The noise characteristics of the MBIR method are significantly different from those of the FBP method. The well known tradeoff relationship between CT image noise and radiation dose has been modified by MBIR to establish a more gradual dependence of noise on dose. Additionally, some other CT noise properties that had been well understood based on the linear system theory have also been altered by MBIR. Clinical CT scan protocols that had been optimized based on the classical CT noise properties need to be carefully re-evaluated for systems equipped with MBIR in order to maximize the method's potential clinical benefits in dose reduction and/or in CT image quality improvement.« less
  • Purpose: Statistical model based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) methods have been introduced to clinical CT systems and are being used in some clinical diagnostic applications. The purpose of this paper is to experimentally assess the unique spatial resolution characteristics of this nonlinear reconstruction method and identify its potential impact on the detectabilities and the associated radiation dose levels for specific imaging tasks. Methods: The thoracic section of a pediatric phantom was repeatedly scanned 50 or 100 times using a 64-slice clinical CT scanner at four different dose levels [CTDI{sub vol} =4, 8, 12, 16 (mGy)]. Both filtered backprojection (FBP) and MBIRmore » (Veo{sup ®}, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI) were used for image reconstruction and results were compared with one another. Eight test objects in the phantom with contrast levels ranging from 13 to 1710 HU were used to assess spatial resolution. The axial spatial resolution was quantified with the point spread function (PSF), while the z resolution was quantified with the slice sensitivity profile. Both were measured locally on the test objects and in the image domain. The dependence of spatial resolution on contrast and dose levels was studied. The study also features a systematic investigation of the potential trade-off between spatial resolution and locally defined noise and their joint impact on the overall image quality, which was quantified by the image domain-based channelized Hotelling observer (CHO) detectability index d′. Results: (1) The axial spatial resolution of MBIR depends on both radiation dose level and image contrast level, whereas it is supposedly independent of these two factors in FBP. The axial spatial resolution of MBIR always improved with an increasing radiation dose level and/or contrast level. (2) The axial spatial resolution of MBIR became equivalent to that of FBP at some transitional contrast level, above which MBIR demonstrated superior spatial resolution than FBP (and vice versa); the value of this transitional contrast highly depended on the dose level. (3) The PSFs of MBIR could be approximated as Gaussian functions with reasonably good accuracy. (4) Thez resolution of MBIR showed similar contrast and dose dependence. (5) Noise standard deviation assessed on the edges of objects demonstrated a trade-off with spatial resolution in MBIR. (5) When both spatial resolution and image noise were considered using the CHO analysis, MBIR led to significant improvement in the overall CT image quality for both high and low contrast detection tasks at both standard and low dose levels. Conclusions: Due to the intrinsic nonlinearity of the MBIR method, many well-known CT spatial resolution and noise properties have been modified. In particular, dose dependence and contrast dependence have been introduced to the spatial resolution of CT images by MBIR. The method has also introduced some novel noise-resolution trade-off not seen in traditional CT images. While the benefits of MBIR regarding the overall image quality, as demonstrated in this work, are significant, the optimal use of this method in clinical practice demands a thorough understanding of its unique physical characteristics.« less