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Title: Grating-based phase contrast tomosynthesis imaging: Proof-of-concept experimental studies

Purpose: This paper concerns the feasibility of x-ray differential phase contrast (DPC) tomosynthesis imaging using a grating-based DPC benchtop experimental system, which is equipped with a commercial digital flat-panel detector and a medical-grade rotating-anode x-ray tube. An extensive system characterization was performed to quantify its imaging performance. Methods: The major components of the benchtop system include a diagnostic x-ray tube with a 1.0 mm nominal focal spot size, a flat-panel detector with 96 μm pixel pitch, a sample stage that rotates within a limited angular span of ±30°, and a Talbot-Lau interferometer with three x-ray gratings. A total of 21 projection views acquired with 3° increments were used to reconstruct three sets of tomosynthetic image volumes, including the conventional absorption contrast tomosynthesis image volume (AC-tomo) reconstructed using the filtered-backprojection (FBP) algorithm with the ramp kernel, the phase contrast tomosynthesis image volume (PC-tomo) reconstructed using FBP with a Hilbert kernel, and the differential phase contrast tomosynthesis image volume (DPC-tomo) reconstructed using the shift-and-add algorithm. Three inhouse physical phantoms containing tissue-surrogate materials were used to characterize the signal linearity, the signal difference-to-noise ratio (SDNR), the three-dimensional noise power spectrum (3D NPS), and the through-plane artifact spread function (ASF). Results: While DPC-tomo highlightsmore » edges and interfaces in the image object, PC-tomo removes the differential nature of the DPC projection data and its pixel values are linearly related to the decrement of the real part of the x-ray refractive index. The SDNR values of polyoxymethylene in water and polystyrene in oil are 1.5 and 1.0, respectively, in AC-tomo, and the values were improved to 3.0 and 2.0, respectively, in PC-tomo. PC-tomo and AC-tomo demonstrate equivalent ASF, but their noise characteristics quantified by the 3D NPS were found to be different due to the difference in the tomosynthesis image reconstruction algorithms. Conclusions: It is feasible to simultaneously generate x-ray differential phase contrast, phase contrast, and absorption contrast tomosynthesis images using a grating-based data acquisition setup. The method shows promise in improving the visibility of several low-density materials and therefore merits further investigation.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 (United States)
  2. Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53705 and Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53792 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251757
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:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; ABSORPTION; ALGORITHMS; ANIMAL TISSUES; GRATINGS; IMAGE PROCESSING; IMAGES; INTERFEROMETERS; PHANTOMS; PITCHES; POLYSTYRENE; REFRACTIVE INDEX; X-RAY TUBES