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22 March 2010 Multi-material decomposition of spectral CT images
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Spectral Computed Tomography (Spectral CT), and in particular fast kVp switching dual-energy computed tomography, is an imaging modality that extends the capabilities of conventional computed tomography (CT). Spectral CT enables the estimation of the full linear attenuation curve of the imaged subject at each voxel in the CT volume, instead of a scalar image in Hounsfield units. Because the space of linear attenuation curves in the energy ranges of medical applications can be accurately described through a two-dimensional manifold, this decomposition procedure would be, in principle, limited to two materials. This paper describes an algorithm that overcomes this limitation, allowing for the estimation of N-tuples of material-decomposed images. The algorithm works by assuming that the mixing of substances and tissue types in the human body has the physicochemical properties of an ideal solution, which yields a model for the density of the imaged material mix. Under this model the mass attenuation curve of each voxel in the image can be estimated, immediately resulting in a material-decomposed image triplet. Decomposition into an arbitrary number of pre-selected materials can be achieved by automatically selecting adequate triplets from an application-specific material library. The decomposition is expressed in terms of the volume fractions of each constituent material in the mix; this provides for a straightforward, physically meaningful interpretation of the data. One important application of this technique is in the digital removal of contrast agent from a dual-energy exam, producing a virtual nonenhanced image, as well as in the quantification of the concentration of contrast observed in a targeted region, thus providing an accurate measure of tissue perfusion.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Paulo R. S. Mendonça, Rahul Bhotika, Mahnaz Maddah, Brian Thomsen, Sandeep Dutta, Paul E. Licato, and Mukta C. Joshi "Multi-material decomposition of spectral CT images", Proc. SPIE 7622, Medical Imaging 2010: Physics of Medical Imaging, 76221W (22 March 2010);


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