An accurate prediction of brain tumor progression is crucial for optimized treatment of the tumors. Gliomas are primarily treated by combining surgery, external beam radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Among them, radiotherapy is a non-invasive and effective therapy, and an understanding of tumor growth will allow better therapy planning. In particular, estimating parameters associated with tumor growth, such as the diffusion coefficient and proliferation rate, is crucial to accurately characterize physiology of tumor growth and to develop predictive models of tumor infiltration and recurrence. Accurate parameter estimation, however, is a challenging task due to inaccurate tumor boundaries and the approximation of the tumor growth model. Here, we introduce a Bayesian framework for a subject-specific tumor growth model that estimates the tumor parameters effectively. This is achieved by using an improved elliptical slice sampling method based on an adaptive sample region. Experimental results on clinical data demonstrate that the proposed method provides a higher acceptance rate, while preserving the parameter estimation accuracy, compared with other state-of-the-art methods such as Metropolis-Hastings and elliptical slice sampling without any modification. Our approach has the potential to provide a method to individualize therapy, thereby offering an optimized treatment.
Attenuation correction is essential for quantitative reliability of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. In time-of-flight (TOF) PET, attenuation sinogram can be determined up to a global constant from noiseless emission data due to the TOF PET data consistency condition. This provides the theoretical basis for jointly estimating both activity image and attenuation sinogram/image directly from TOF PET emission data. Multiple joint estimation methods, such as maximum likelihood activity and attenuation (MLAA) and maximum likelihood attenuation correction factor (MLACF), have already been shown that can produce improved reconstruction results in TOF cases. However, due to the nonconcavity of the joint log-likelihood function and Poisson noise presented in PET data, the iterative method still requires proper initialization and well-designed regularization to prevent convergence to local maxima. To address this issue, we propose a joint estimation of activity image and attenuation sinogram using the TOF PET data consistency condition as an attenuation sinogram filter, and then evaluate the performance of the proposed method using computer simulations.
X-ray luminescence computed tomography (XLCT) is an emerging hybrid imaging modality that can provide functional and anatomical images at the same time. Traditional narrow beam XLCT can achieve high spatial resolution as well as high sensitivity. However, by treating the CCD camera as a single pixel detector, this kind of scheme resembles the first generation of CT scanner which results in a long scanning time and a high radiation dose. Although cone beam or fan beam XLCT has the ability to mitigate this problem with an optical propagation model introduced, image quality is affected because the inverse problem is ill-conditioned. Much effort has been done to improve the image quality through hardware improvements or by developing new reconstruction techniques for XLCT. The objective of this work is to further enhance the already reconstructed image by introducing anatomical information through retrospective processing. The deblurring process used a spatially variant point spread function (PSF) model and a joint entropy based anatomical prior derived from a CT image acquired using the same XLCT system. A numerical experiment was conducted with a real mouse CT image from the Digimouse phantom used as the anatomical prior. The resultant images of bone and lung regions showed sharp edges and good consistency with the CT image. Activity error was reduced by 52.3% even for nanophosphor lesion size as small as 0.8mm.
Spectral computed tomography (SCT) generates better image quality than conventional computed tomography (CT). It has overcome several limitations for imaging atherosclerotic plaque. However, the literature evaluating the performance of SCT based on objective image assessment is very limited for the task of discriminating plaques. We developed a numerical-observer method and used it to assess performance on discrimination vulnerable-plaque features and compared the performance among multienergy CT (MECT), dual-energy CT (DECT), and conventional CT methods. Our numerical observer was designed to incorporate all spectral information and comprised two-processing stages. First, each energy-window domain was preprocessed by a set of localized channelized Hotelling observers (CHO). In this step, the spectral image in each energy bin was decorrelated using localized prewhitening and matched filtering with a set of Laguerre–Gaussian channel functions. Second, the series of the intermediate scores computed from all the CHOs were integrated by a Hotelling observer with an additional prewhitening and matched filter. The overall signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) were obtained, yielding an overall discrimination performance metric. The performance of our new observer was evaluated for the particular binary classification task of differentiating between alternative plaque characterizations in carotid arteries. A clinically realistic model of signal variability was also included in our simulation of the discrimination tasks. The inclusion of signal variation is a key to applying the proposed observer method to spectral CT data. Hence, the task-based approaches based on the signal-known-exactly/background-known-exactly (SKE/BKE) framework and the clinical-relevant signal-known-statistically/background-known-exactly (SKS/BKE) framework were applied for analytical computation of figures of merit (FOM). Simulated data of a carotid-atherosclerosis patient were used to validate our methods. We used an extended cardiac-torso anthropomorphic digital phantom and three simulated plaque types (i.e., calcified plaque, fatty-mixed plaque, and iodine-mixed blood). The images were reconstructed using a standard filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithm for all the acquisition methods and were applied to perform two different discrimination tasks of: (1) calcified plaque versus fatty-mixed plaque and (2) calcified plaque versus iodine-mixed blood. MECT outperformed DECT and conventional CT systems for all cases of the SKE/BKE and SKS/BKE tasks (all p<0.01). On average of signal variability, MECT yielded the SNR improvements over other acquisition methods in the range of 46.8% to 65.3% (all p<0.01) for FBP-Ramp images and 53.2% to 67.7% (all p<0.01) for FBP-Hanning images for both identification tasks. This proposed numerical observer combined with our signal variability framework is promising for assessing material characterization obtained through the additional energy-dependent attenuation information of SCT. These methods can be further extended to other clinical tasks such as kidney or urinary stone identification applications.
Conference Committee Involvement (1)
Physics of Medical Imaging
17 February 2019 | San Diego, California, United States