High resolution imaging of the chest is dependent on a breath hold maintained throughout the imaging time. However, pediatric and comatose patients are unable to follow respiration commands. Gated tomosynthesis could offer a lower dose, high in-plane resolution imaging modality, but current systems are unable to prospectively gate in a reasonable scan time. In contrast, a carbon nanotube (CNT) based linear x-ray source array offers both the angular span and precise control necessary to generate x-ray projections for gated tomosynthesis. The goal of this study was to explore the first clinical use of the CNT linear x-ray source array for gated clinical chest imaging. Eighteen pediatric cystic fibrosis patients were recruited for this study, with 13 usable image sets. The s-GDCT system consists of a CNT linear x-ray source array coupled with a digital detector. A respiration signal derived from a respiratory belt served as a gating signal with sources fired sequentially when the imaging window and maximum inspiration window coincided. Images were reconstructed and reviewed for motion blur and ability to identify major anatomical structures. Image quality was highly dependent on quality of the respiration gating signal, and a correlation was found between qualitative image quality and height of the respiration peak. We demonstrate the first prospectively gated evaluation of the stationary digital chest tomosynthesis patients in pediatric patients. Though further refinements in projection selection and respiratory gating approaches are necessary, this study demonstrates the potential utility of this low dose imaging approach.
Yueh Z. Lee, E. Taylor Gunnell, Christy R. Inscoe, Connor Puett, Jianping Lu, and Otto Zhou, "Initial clinical evaluation of gated stationary digital chest tomosynthesis," Proc. SPIE 10573, Medical Imaging 2018: Physics of Medical Imaging, 105730I (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 12, 2018; Published: 9 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2293713.
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