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18 March 2015 Statistical bias in material decomposition in low photon statistics region
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We show that in material decomposition, statistical bias exists in the low photon regime due to non-linearity including but not limited to the log operation and polychromatic measurements. As new scan methods divide the total number of photons into an increasing number of measurements (e.g., energy bins, projection paths) and as developers seek to reduce radiation dose, the number of photons per measurement will decrease and estimators should be robust against bias at low photon counts. We study bias as a function of total flux and spectral spread, which provides insight when parameters like material thicknesses, number of energy bins, and number of projection views change. We find that the bias increases with lower photon counts, wide spectrum, with more number of energy bins and more projection views. Our simulation, with ideal photon counting detectors, show biases up to 2.4 % in basis material images. We propose a bias correction method in projection space that uses a multi dimensional look up table. With the correction, the relative bias in CT images is within 0.5 ± 0.17%.
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Paurakh L. Rajbhandary and Norbert J. Pelc "Statistical bias in material decomposition in low photon statistics region", Proc. SPIE 9412, Medical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging, 94124W (18 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2081326;

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