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6 May 2004 Quantitative assessment of cone-beam CT system by 3D point-spread function
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The three-dimensional (3D) imaging performance of a cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) system can be quantitatively characterized by its 3D point spread function (PSF). To avoid the pitfalls associated with 3D PSF measurement through the use of a micro point phantom, we adopt an edge-based technique, which iteratively blurs a step edge into a spread edge with a Gaussian blurring kernel. In experiment, a small Teflon solid ball (diameter ~6mm) is used to provide step edges along the scanlines across the ball center, in terms of x-ray linear attenuation coefficient. Correspondingly, the spread edge profiles are extracted from the digital volume ball reconstructed by a CBCT system. From a spread edge profile, a step edge can be established by a rectification procedure (essentially an edge identification). A 1D PSF along a scanline is modeled as a Gaussian distribution, which is determined by iterative edge-blurring technique. The 1D PSFs on a cross section of the ball constitute a 2D PSF, and the 2D PSFs at three orthogonal cross sections are used to represent the 3D PSF at the position of the ball. By repositioning the ball phantom and repeating the procedure, we measured the 3D PSFs at 126 positions over half of the support space. Experiment shows that a CBCT system is of spatial variance and anisotropy in terms of FWHMs (full width at half maximum) of the blurring kernel. Both numerical and graphical presentations of PSF results are provided. As a result, the FWHM of the 3D PSF in our CBCT system varies in the range between 0.66 mm and 1.39 mm.
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Zikuan Chen, Ruola Ning, David L. Conover, and Yong Yu "Quantitative assessment of cone-beam CT system by 3D point-spread function", Proc. SPIE 5368, Medical Imaging 2004: Physics of Medical Imaging, (6 May 2004);

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