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19 March 2014 A refined methodology for modeling volume quantification performance in CT
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The utility of CT lung nodule volume quantification technique depends on the precision of the quantification. To enable the evaluation of quantification precision, we previously developed a mathematical model that related precision to image resolution and noise properties in uniform backgrounds in terms of an estimability index (e’). The e’ was shown to predict empirical precision across 54 imaging and reconstruction protocols, but with different correlation qualities for FBP and iterative reconstruction (IR) due to the non-linearity of IR impacted by anatomical structure. To better account for the non-linearity of IR, this study aimed to refine the noise characterization of the model in the presence of textured backgrounds. Repeated scans of an anthropomorphic lung phantom were acquired. Subtracted images were used to measure the image quantum noise, which was then used to adjust the noise component of the e’ calculation measured from a uniform region. In addition to the model refinement, the validation of the model was further extended to 2 nodule sizes (5 and 10 mm) and 2 segmentation algorithms. Results showed that the magnitude of IR’s quantum noise was significantly higher in structured backgrounds than in uniform backgrounds (ASiR, 30-50%; MBIR, 100-200%). With the refined model, the correlation between e’ values and empirical precision no longer depended on reconstruction algorithm. In conclusion, the model with refined noise characterization relfected the nonlinearity of iterative reconstruction in structured background, and further showed successful prediction of quantification precision across a variety of nodule sizes, dose levels, slice thickness, reconstruction algorithms, and segmentation software.
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Baiyu Chen, Joshua Wilson, and Ehsan Samei "A refined methodology for modeling volume quantification performance in CT", Proc. SPIE 9033, Medical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging, 903325 (19 March 2014);

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