9 March 2017 Statistical iterative material image reconstruction for spectral CT using a semi-empirical forward model
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In spectral computed tomography (spectral CT), the additional information about the energy dependence of attenuation coefficients can be exploited to generate material selective images. These images have found applications in various areas such as artifact reduction, quantitative imaging or clinical diagnosis. However, significant noise amplification on material decomposed images remains a fundamental problem of spectral CT. Most spectral CT algorithms separate the process of material decomposition and image reconstruction. Separating these steps is suboptimal because the full statistical information contained in the spectral tomographic measurements cannot be exploited. Statistical iterative reconstruction (SIR) techniques provide an alternative, mathematically elegant approach to obtaining material selective images with improved tradeoffs between noise and resolution. Furthermore, image reconstruction and material decomposition can be performed jointly. This is accomplished by a forward model which directly connects the (expected) spectral projection measurements and the material selective images. To obtain this forward model, detailed knowledge of the different photon energy spectra and the detector response was assumed in previous work. However, accurately determining the spectrum is often difficult in practice. In this work, a new algorithm for statistical iterative material decomposition is presented. It uses a semi-empirical forward model which relies on simple calibration measurements. Furthermore, an efficient optimization algorithm based on separable surrogate functions is employed. This partially negates one of the major shortcomings of SIR, namely high computational cost and long reconstruction times. Numerical simulations and real experiments show strongly improved image quality and reduced statistical bias compared to projection-based material decomposition.
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Korbinian Mechlem, Korbinian Mechlem, Sebastian Ehn, Sebastian Ehn, Thorsten Sellerer, Thorsten Sellerer, Franz Pfeiffer, Franz Pfeiffer, Peter B. Noël, Peter B. Noël, } "Statistical iterative material image reconstruction for spectral CT using a semi-empirical forward model", Proc. SPIE 10132, Medical Imaging 2017: Physics of Medical Imaging, 1013238 (9 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2252325; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252325

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