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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. Wed . "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 = {Wed Jun 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Wed Jun 15 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}
  • Digital Tomosynthesis (DT) is becoming increasingly common in breast imaging and many other applications. DT is a form of computed tomography in which a limited set of projection images are acquired over a small angular range and reconstructed into a tomographic data set. The angular range and number of projections is determined both by the imaging task and equipment manufacturer. For example, in breast imaging between 9 and 25 projections are acquired over a range of 15° to 60°. It is equally valid to treat DT as the digital analog of classical tomography - for example, linear tomography. In fact,more » the name “tomosynthesis” is an acronym for “synthetic tomography”. DT shares many common features with classical tomography, including the radiographic appearance, dose, and image quality considerations. As such, both the science and practical physics of DT systems is a hybrid between CT and classical tomographic methods. This lecture will consist of three presentations that will provide a complete overview of DT, including a review of the fundamentals of DT, a discussion of testing methods for DT systems, and a description of the clinical applications of DT. While digital breast tomosynthesis will be emphasized, analogies will be drawn to body imaging to illustrate and compare tomosynthesis methods. Learning Objectives: To understand the fundamental principles behind tomosynthesis, including the determinants of image quality and dose. To learn how to test the performance of tomosynthesis imaging systems. To appreciate the uses of tomosynthesis in the clinic and the future applications of tomosynthesis.« less
  • Purpose: To assess the effect of beam hardening on measured CT HU values. Methods: An anthropomorphic knee phantom was scanned with the CT component of a GE Discovery 690 PET/CT scanner (120kVp, 300mAs, 40?0.625mm collimation, pitch=0.984, FOV=500mm, matrix=512?512) with four different scan setups, each of which induces different degrees of beam hardening by introducing additional attenuation media into the field of view. Homogeneous voxels representing “soft tissue” and “bone” were segmented by HU thresholding followed by a 3D morphological erosion operation which removes the non-homogenous voxels located on the interface of thresholded tissue mask. HU values of segmented “soft tissue”more » and “bone” were compared.Additionally, whole-body CT data with coverage from the skull apex to the end of toes were retrospectively retrieved from seven PET/CT exams to evaluate the effect of beam hardening in vivo. Homogeneous bone voxels were segmented with the same method previously described. Total In-Slice Attenuation (TISA) for each CT slice, defined as the summation of HU values over all voxels within a CT slice, was calculated for all slices of the seven whole-body CT datasets and evaluated against the mean HU values of homogeneous bone voxels within that slice. Results: HU values measured from the phantom showed that while “soft tissue” HU values were unaffected, added attenuation within the FOV caused noticeable decreases in the measured HU values of “bone” voxels. A linear relationship was observed between bone HU and TISA for slices of the torso and legs, but not of the skull. Conclusion: Beam hardening effect is not an issue of concern for voxels with HU in the soft tissue range, but should not be neglected for bone voxels. A linear relationship exists between bone HU and the associated TISA in non-skull CT slices, which can be exploited to develop a correction strategy.« less
  • Purpose: To measure patient skin dose from CT angiography (CTA) and CT exams of the head, and determine if patients having multiple exams could receive cumulative doses that approach or exceed deterministic thresholds. Methods: This study was HIPAA compliant and conducted with IRB approval. Patient skin doses were measured over a 4 month period using nanoDot OSL dosimeters placed on the head of 52 patients for two CT scanners. On each scanner, 26 patients received CT exams (scanner 1: 10 females, 16 males, mean age 64.2 years; scanner 2: 18 females, 8 males, mean age 61.2 years). CT exam dosemore » metrics, CTDIvol and dose-length product (DLP) were recorded for each exam. Additionally, skin dose was measured on an acrylic skull phantom in each scanner and on a neuro-interventional imaging system using clinical protocols. Measured dose data was used to estimate peak skin dose (PSD) for 4 patients receiving multiple exams including CTA, head CT, and cerebral angiography. Results: For scanner 1, the mean PSD for CTA exams (98.9 ± 5.3 mGy) and for routine head CT exams (39.2 ± 3.7 mGy) agreed reasonably well with the PSD measured on the phantom, 105.4 mGy and 40.0 mGy, respectively. Similarly for scanner 2, the mean PSD for CTA exams (98.8 ± 7.4 mGy) and for routine head CT exams (42.9 ± 9.4 mGy) compared well with phantom measurements, 95.2 mGy and 37.6 mGy, respectively. In addition, the mean PSD was comparable between scanners for corresponding patient exams, CTA and routine head CT respectively. PSD estimates ranged from 1.9 – 4.5 Gy among 4 patients receiving multiple exams. Conclusion: Patients having several exams including both CTA and routine head CT may receive cumulative doses approaching or exceeding the threshold for single dose deterministic effects.« 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: To develop a general method for human tissue characterization with dual-and multi-energy CT and evaluate its performance in determining elemental compositions and the associated proton stopping power relative to water (SPR) and photon mass absorption coefficients (EAC). Methods: Principal component analysis is used to extract an optimal basis of virtual materials from a reference dataset of tissues. These principal components (PC) are used to perform two-material decomposition using simulated DECT data. The elemental mass fraction and the electron density in each tissue is retrieved by measuring the fraction of each PC. A stoichiometric calibration method is adapted to themore » technique to make it suitable for clinical use. The present approach is compared with two others: parametrization and three-material decomposition using the water-lipid-protein (WLP) triplet. Results: Monte Carlo simulations using TOPAS for four reference tissues shows that characterizing them with only two PC is enough to get a submillimetric precision on proton range prediction. Based on the simulated DECT data of 43 references tissues, the proposed method is in agreement with theoretical values of protons SPR and low-kV EAC with a RMS error of 0.11% and 0.35%, respectively. In comparison, parametrization and WLP respectively yield RMS errors of 0.13% and 0.29% on SPR, and 2.72% and 2.19% on EAC. Furthermore, the proposed approach shows potential applications for spectral CT. Using five PC and five energy bins reduces the SPR RMS error to 0.03%. Conclusion: The proposed method shows good performance in determining elemental compositions from DECT data and physical quantities relevant to radiotherapy dose calculation and generally shows better accuracy and unbiased results compared to reference methods. The proposed method is particularly suitable for Monte Carlo calculations and shows promise in using more than two energies to characterize human tissue with CT.« less