16 March 2011 Functional phase-correlated micro-CT imaging of small rodents with low dose
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Abstract
Functional imaging of an animals thoracic region requires cardiac and respiratory gating. The information on respiratory motion and ECG required for double-gating are extracted from the rawdata and used to select the projections appropriate for a given motion phase. A conventional phase-correlated reconstruction (PC) therefore uses only a small amount of the total projections acquired. Thus the resulting images comprise a high noise level unless acquired with very high dose, and streak artifacts may occur due to the sparse angular sampling. Here, we are aiming at getting high fidelity images even for relatively low dose values. To overcome these issues we implemented an iterative reconstruction method encompassing a five-dimensional (spatial, cardiac-temporal, respiratory-temporal) edge-preserving filter. This new phase-correlated low-dose (LDPC) reconstruction method is evaluated using retrospectively-gated, contrast-enhanced micro CT data of mice. The scans performed comprise 7200 projections within 10 rotations over 5 minutes. A tube voltage of 65 kV was used resulting in an administered dose of about 500 mGy. 20 respiratory phases and 10 cardiac phases are reconstructed. Using LDPC reconstruction the image noise is typically reduced by a factor of about six and artifacts are almost removed. Reducing the number of projections available for reconstruction shows that we can get comparable image quality with only 200 mGy. LDPC enables high fidelity low-dose double-gated imaging of free breathing rodents without compromises in image quality. Compared to PC image noise is significantly reduced with LDPC and the administered dose can be reduced accordingly.
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Stefan Sawall, Frank Bergner, Andreas Hess, Robert Lapp, Markus Mronz, Marek Karolczak, Marc Kachelriess, "Functional phase-correlated micro-CT imaging of small rodents with low dose", Proc. SPIE 7961, Medical Imaging 2011: Physics of Medical Imaging, 796124 (16 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.877343; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.877343
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