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Title: TU-AB-207A-03: Image Quality, Dose, and Clinical Applications

Abstract

Practicing medical physicists are often time charged with the tasks of evaluating and troubleshooting complex image quality issues related to CT scanners. This course will equip them with a solid and practical understanding of common CT imaging chain and its major components with emphasis on acquisition physics and hardware, reconstruction, artifacts, image quality, dose, and advanced clinical applications. The core objective is to explain the effects of these major system components on the image quality. This course will not focus on the rapid-changing advanced technologies given the two-hour time limit, but the fundamental principles discussed in this course may facilitate better understanding of those more complicated technologies. The course will begin with an overview of CT acquisition physics and geometry. X-ray tube and CT detector are important acquisition hardware critical to the overall image quality. Each of these two subsystems consists of several major components. An in-depth description of the function and failure modes of these components will be provided. Examples of artifacts related to these failure modes will be presented: off-focal radiation, tube arcing, heel effect, oil bubble, offset drift effect, cross-talk effect, and bad pixels. The fundamentals of CT image reconstruction will first be discussed on an intuitivemore » level. Approaches that do not require rigorous derivation of mathematical formulations will be presented. This is followed by a detailed derivation of the Fourier slice theorem: the foundation of the FBP algorithm. FBP for parallel-beam, fan-beam, and cone-beam geometries will be discussed. To address the issue of radiation dose related to x-ray CT, recent advances in iterative reconstruction, their advantages, and clinical applications will also be described. Because of the nature of fundamental physics and mathematics, limitations in data acquisition, and non-ideal conditions of major system components, image artifact often arise in the reconstructed images. Because of the limited scope of this course, only major imaging artifacts, their appearance, and possible mitigation and corrections will be discussed. Assessment of the performance of a CT scanner is a complicated subject. Procedures to measure common image quality metrics such as high contrast spatial resolution, low contrast detectability, and slice profile will be described. The reason why these metrics used for FBP may not be sufficient for statistical iterative reconstruction will be explained. Optimizing radiation dose requires comprehension of CT dose metrics. This course will briefly describe various dose metrics, and interaction with acquisition parameters and patient habitus. CT is among the most frequently used imaging tools due to its superior image quality, easy to operate, and a broad range of applications. This course will present several interesting CT applications such as a mobile CT unit on an ambulance for stroke patients, low dose lung cancer screening, and single heartbeat cardiac CT. Learning Objectives: Understand the function and impact of major components of X-ray tube on the image quality. Understand the function and impact of major components of CT detector on the image quality. Be familiar with the basic procedure of CT image reconstruction. Understand the effect of image reconstruction on CT image quality and artifacts. Understand the root causes of common CT image artifacts. Be familiar with image quality metrics especially high and low contrast resolution, noise power spectrum, slice sensitivity profile, etc. Understand why basic image quality metrics used for FBP may not be sufficient to characterize the performance of advanced iterative reconstruction. Be familiar with various CT dose metrics and their interaction with acquisition parameters. New development in advanced CT clinical applications. JH: Employee of GE Healthcare. FD: No disclosure.; J. Hsieh, Jiang Hsieh is an employee of GE Healthcare.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. The Cleveland Clinic (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22653963
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:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; DATA ACQUISITION; IMAGE PROCESSING; ITERATIVE METHODS; METRICS; RADIATION DOSES; SPATIAL RESOLUTION; X-RAY TUBES

Citation Formats

Dong, F. TU-AB-207A-03: Image Quality, Dose, and Clinical Applications. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4957438.
Dong, F. TU-AB-207A-03: Image Quality, Dose, and Clinical Applications. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4957438.
Dong, F. 2016. "TU-AB-207A-03: Image Quality, Dose, and Clinical Applications". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4957438.
@article{osti_22653963,
title = {TU-AB-207A-03: Image Quality, Dose, and Clinical Applications},
author = {Dong, F.},
abstractNote = {Practicing medical physicists are often time charged with the tasks of evaluating and troubleshooting complex image quality issues related to CT scanners. This course will equip them with a solid and practical understanding of common CT imaging chain and its major components with emphasis on acquisition physics and hardware, reconstruction, artifacts, image quality, dose, and advanced clinical applications. The core objective is to explain the effects of these major system components on the image quality. This course will not focus on the rapid-changing advanced technologies given the two-hour time limit, but the fundamental principles discussed in this course may facilitate better understanding of those more complicated technologies. The course will begin with an overview of CT acquisition physics and geometry. X-ray tube and CT detector are important acquisition hardware critical to the overall image quality. Each of these two subsystems consists of several major components. An in-depth description of the function and failure modes of these components will be provided. Examples of artifacts related to these failure modes will be presented: off-focal radiation, tube arcing, heel effect, oil bubble, offset drift effect, cross-talk effect, and bad pixels. The fundamentals of CT image reconstruction will first be discussed on an intuitive level. Approaches that do not require rigorous derivation of mathematical formulations will be presented. This is followed by a detailed derivation of the Fourier slice theorem: the foundation of the FBP algorithm. FBP for parallel-beam, fan-beam, and cone-beam geometries will be discussed. To address the issue of radiation dose related to x-ray CT, recent advances in iterative reconstruction, their advantages, and clinical applications will also be described. Because of the nature of fundamental physics and mathematics, limitations in data acquisition, and non-ideal conditions of major system components, image artifact often arise in the reconstructed images. Because of the limited scope of this course, only major imaging artifacts, their appearance, and possible mitigation and corrections will be discussed. Assessment of the performance of a CT scanner is a complicated subject. Procedures to measure common image quality metrics such as high contrast spatial resolution, low contrast detectability, and slice profile will be described. The reason why these metrics used for FBP may not be sufficient for statistical iterative reconstruction will be explained. Optimizing radiation dose requires comprehension of CT dose metrics. This course will briefly describe various dose metrics, and interaction with acquisition parameters and patient habitus. CT is among the most frequently used imaging tools due to its superior image quality, easy to operate, and a broad range of applications. This course will present several interesting CT applications such as a mobile CT unit on an ambulance for stroke patients, low dose lung cancer screening, and single heartbeat cardiac CT. Learning Objectives: Understand the function and impact of major components of X-ray tube on the image quality. Understand the function and impact of major components of CT detector on the image quality. Be familiar with the basic procedure of CT image reconstruction. Understand the effect of image reconstruction on CT image quality and artifacts. Understand the root causes of common CT image artifacts. Be familiar with image quality metrics especially high and low contrast resolution, noise power spectrum, slice sensitivity profile, etc. Understand why basic image quality metrics used for FBP may not be sufficient to characterize the performance of advanced iterative reconstruction. Be familiar with various CT dose metrics and their interaction with acquisition parameters. New development in advanced CT clinical applications. JH: Employee of GE Healthcare. FD: No disclosure.; J. Hsieh, Jiang Hsieh is an employee of GE Healthcare.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4957438},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Purpose: To investigate a novel low-dose CT (LdCT) image reconstruction strategy for lung CT imaging in radiation therapy. Methods: The proposed approach consists of four steps: (1) use the traditional filtered back-projection (FBP) method to reconstruct the LdCT image; (2) calculate structure similarity (SSIM) index between the FBP-reconstructed LdCT image and a set of normal-dose CT (NdCT) images, and select the NdCT image with the highest SSIM as the learning source; (3) segment the NdCT source image into lung and outside tissue regions via simple thresholding, and adopt multiple linear regression to learn high-order Markov random field (MRF) pattern formore » each tissue region in the NdCT source image; (4) segment the FBP-reconstructed LdCT image into lung and outside regions as well, and apply the learnt MRF prior in each tissue region for statistical iterative reconstruction of the LdCT image following the penalized weighted least squares (PWLS) framework. Quantitative evaluation of the reconstructed images was based on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), local binary pattern (LBP) and histogram of oriented gradients (HOG) metrics. Results: It was observed that lung and outside tissue regions have different MRF patterns predicted from the NdCT. Visual inspection showed that our method obviously outperformed the traditional FBP method. Comparing with the region-smoothing PWLS method, our method has, in average, 13% increase in SNR, 15% decrease in LBP difference, and 12% decrease in HOG difference from reference standard for all regions of interest, which indicated the superior performance of the proposed method in terms of image resolution and texture preservation. Conclusion: We proposed a novel LdCT image reconstruction method by learning similar image characteristics from a set of NdCT images, and the to-be-learnt NdCT image does not need to be scans from the same subject. This approach is particularly important for enhancing image quality in radiation therapy.« less
  • Purpose: We have developed a method, called respiratory motion guided 4DCBCT (RMG-4DCBCT), in which the gantry speed and projection frequency are varied in response to the patient’s real-time respiratory signal to eliminate streaking artifacts and to suppress duplicate projections in 4DCBCT images. In 2015, we realized RMG-4DCBCT on an Elekta Synergy linear accelerator with a mechanical relay to suppress projections and a potentiometer to adjust the gantry speed in response to the patient’s real-time respiratory signal. The aim of this study was to analyse the image quality to determine what can and cannot be controlled. Methods: Using RMG-4DCBCT, we acquiredmore » 40 (RMG-4DCBCT-40) and 60 (RMG-4DCBCT-60) equally spaced projections per respiratory phase of the CIRS dynamic thorax phantom with breathing periods from 2s to 8s and two breathing traces from lung cancer patients. The contrast to noise ratio (CNR) and edge response width (ERW) were used to compare image quality between RMG-4DCBCT and conventional 4DCBCT. Results: Regardless of the breathing period, for RMG-4DCBCT, the CNR is approximately 7 and 9 with RMG-4DCBCT-40 and RMG-4DCBCT-60 respectively. Conventional 4DCBCT has a CNR dropping from 20 down to 6 as the breathing period drops from 2s to 8s. With RMG-4DCBCT, the ERW, in the direction of phantom motion, ranges from 2.1mm to 2.5mm as the breathing period drops from 2s to 8s which compares to a higher range of 2.0mm to 2.5mm with conventional 4DCBCT. Images with similar quality to conventional 4DCBCT can be acquired with RMG-4DCBCT-40 which has a 70% reduction in imaging dose. Conclusion: The image contrast can be controlled with RMG-4DCBCT regardless of the patients breathing rate. However, although the image sharpness is better with RMG-4DCBCT, image sharpness has a small dependence on the breathing period; the accuracy of registration and segmentation will therefore vary with the patient’s breathing period. This project was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant 1034060 and Cancer Australia grant number 1084566.« less
  • Purpose: Accurately predicting the range of radiotherapy ions in vivo is important for the precise delivery of dose in particle therapy. Range uncertainty is currently the single largest contribution to the dose margins used in planning and leads to a higher dose to normal tissue. The use of ion CT has been proposed as a method to improve the range uncertainty and thereby reduce dose to normal tissue of the patient. A wide variety of ions have been proposed and studied for this purpose, but no studies evaluate the image quality obtained with different ions in a consistent manner. However,more » imaging doses ion CT is a concern which may limit the obtainable image quality. In addition, the imaging doses reported have not been directly comparable with x-ray CT doses due to the different biological impacts of ion radiation. The purpose of this work is to develop a robust methodology for comparing the image quality of ion CT with respect to particle therapy, taking into account different reconstruction methods and ion species. Methods: A comparison of different ions and energies was made. Ion CT projections were simulated for five different scenarios: Protons at 230 and 330 MeV, helium ions at 230 MeV/u, and carbon ions at 430 MeV/u. Maps of the water equivalent stopping power were reconstructed using a weighted least squares method. The dose was evaluated via a quality factor weighted CT dose index called the CT dose equivalent index (CTDEI). Spatial resolution was measured by the modulation transfer function. This was done by a noise-robust fit to the edge spread function. Second, the image quality as a function of the number of scanning angles was evaluated for protons at 230 MeV. In the resolution study, the CTDEI was fixed to 10 mSv, similar to a typical x-ray CT scan. Finally, scans at a range of CTDEI’s were done, to evaluate dose influence on reconstruction error. Results: All ions yielded accurate stopping power estimates, none of which were statistically different from the ground truth image. Resolution (as defined by the modulation transfer function = 10% point) was the best for the helium ions (18.21 line pairs/cm) and worst for the lower energy protons (9.37 line pairs/cm). The weighted quality factor for the different ions ranged from 1.23 for helium to 2.35 for carbon ions. For the angle study, a sharp increase in absolute error was observed below 45 distinct angles, giving the impression of a threshold, rather than smooth, limit to the number of angles. Conclusions: The method presented for comparing various ion CT modalities is feasible for practical use. While all studied ions would improve upon x-ray CT for particle range estimation, helium appears to give the best results and deserves further study for imaging.« less
  • Purpose: One of the principal challenges of clinical imaging is to achieve an ideal balance between image quality and radiation dose across multiple CT models. The number of scanners and protocols at large medical centers necessitates an automated quality assurance program to facilitate this objective. Therefore, the goal of this work was to implement an automated CT image quality and radiation dose monitoring program based on actual patient data and to use this program to assess consistency of protocols across CT scanner models. Methods: Patient CT scans are routed to a HIPPA compliant quality assurance server. CTDI, extracted using opticalmore » character recognition, and patient size, measured from the localizers, are used to calculate SSDE. A previously validated noise measurement algorithm determines the noise in uniform areas of the image across the scanned anatomy to generate a global noise level (GNL). Using this program, 2358 abdominopelvic scans acquired on three commercial CT scanners were analyzed. Median SSDE and GNL were compared across scanner models and trends in SSDE and GNL with patient size were used to determine the impact of differing automatic exposure control (AEC) algorithms. Results: There was a significant difference in both SSDE and GNL across scanner models (9–33% and 15–35% for SSDE and GNL, respectively). Adjusting all protocols to achieve the same image noise would reduce patient dose by 27–45% depending on scanner model. Additionally, differences in AEC methodologies across vendors resulted in disparate relationships of SSDE and GNL with patient size. Conclusion: The difference in noise across scanner models indicates that protocols are not optimally matched to achieve consistent image quality. Our results indicated substantial possibility for dose reduction while achieving more consistent image appearance. Finally, the difference in AEC methodologies suggests the need for size-specific CT protocols to minimize variability in image quality across CT vendors.« less
  • The goal of the study was to evaluate the first CR digital mammography system ( registered Konica-Minolta) in Mexico in clinical routine for cancer detection in a screening population and to determine if high resolution CR digital imaging is equivalent to state-of-the-art screen-film imaging. The mammograms were evaluated by two observers with cytological or histological confirmation for BIRADS 3, 4 and 5. Contrast, exposure and artifacts of the images were evaluated. Different details like skin, retromamillary space and parenchymal structures were judged. The detectability of microcalcifications and lesions were compared and correlated to histology. The difference in sensitivity of CRmore » Mammography (CRM) and Screen Film Mammography (SFM) was not statistically significant. However, CRM had a significantly lower recall rate, and the lesion detection was equal or superior to conventional images. There is no significant difference in the number of microcalcifications and highly suspicious calcifications were equally detected on both film-screen and digital images. Different anatomical regions were better detectable in digital than in conventional mammography.« less