Methods: We implemented a task-driven imaging framework to optimize orbit parameters that maximize detectability index d'. This framework utilizes a specified Fourier domain task function and an analytical model for system spatial resolution and noise. Two experiments were conducted to test the framework. First, a simple task was considered consisting of frequencies lying entirely on the fz-axis (e.g., discrimination of structures oriented parallel to the central axial plane), and a “circle + arc” orbit was incorporated into the framework as a means to improve sampling of these frequencies, and thereby increase task-based detectability. The orbit was implemented on a robotic C-arm (Artis Zeego, Siemens Healthcare). A second task considered visualization of a cochlear implant simulated within a head phantom, with spatial frequency response emphasizing high-frequency content in the (fy, fz) plane of the cochlea. An optimal orbit was computed using the task-driven framework, and the resulting image was compared to that for a circular orbit.
Results: For the fz-axis task, the circle + arc orbit was shown to increase d' by a factor of 1.20, with an improvement of 0.71 mm in a 3D edge-spread measurement for edges located far from the central plane and a decrease in streak artifacts compared to a circular orbit. For the cochlear implant task, the resulting orbit favored complementary views of high tilt angles in a 360° orbit, and d' was increased by a factor of 1.83.
Conclusions: This work shows that a prospective definition of imaging task can be used to optimize source-detector orbit and improve imaging performance. The method was implemented for execution of non-circular, task-driven orbits on a clinical robotic C-arm system. The framework is sufficiently general to include both acquisition parameters (e.g., orbit, kV, and mA selection) and reconstruction parameters (e.g., a spatially varying regularizer).