Methods: Novel predictors for estimation of local spatial resolution and noise properties are developed for PL reconstruction that include a physical model for blur and correlated noise in flat-panel cone-beam CT (CBCT) acquisitions. Prospective predictions (e.g., without reconstruction) of local point spread function and and local noise power spectrum (NPS) model are applied, compared, and validated using a flat-panel CBCT test bench. Imaging conditions investigated include two acquisition strategies (an unmodulated X-ray technique and automatic exposure control) as well as varying regularization strength.
Results: Comparisons between prediction and physical measurements show excellent agreement for both spatial resolution and noise properties. In comparison, traditional prediction methods (that ignore blur/correlation found in flat-panel data) fail to capture important data characteristics and show significant mismatch.
Conclusion: Novel image property predictors permit prospective assessment of flat-panel CBCT using MBIR. Such predictors enable standard and task-based performance assessments, and are well-suited to evaluation, control, and optimization of the CT imaging chain (e.g., x-ray technique, reconstruction parameters, novel data acquisition methods, etc.) for improved imaging performance and/or dose utilization.