The output response characteristics of an X-ray photon counting detector are measured experimentally and
simulated using a Monte Carlo method in order to quantify the loss of statistical information due to pile-up. The
analysis is applied to idealize counting detector models, but is adaptable to realistic event processing that is not
amenable to analytic solution. In particular, the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) is calculated as a function of flux
rate and shown to have an intermediate zero for the paralyzable case at the maximum periodic rate. The progressive
degradation of the spectral response as a function of increasing flux rate is also modeled. Analogous metrics to DQE
are defined in regards to the detector's ability to resolve atomic number and enhance image contrast based on atomic
number differentiation. Analytic solutions are provided for the output and linearized response statistics and these
interpolate well across the Monte Carlo and experimental results.
We present a new simulation environment for X-ray computed tomography, called CatSim. CatSim provides a research platform for GE researchers and collaborators to explore new reconstruction algorithms, CT architectures, and X-ray source or detector technologies. The main requirements for this simulator are accurate physics modeling, low computation times, and geometrical flexibility. CatSim allows simulating complex analytic phantoms, such as the FORBILD phantoms, including boxes, ellipsoids, elliptical cylinders, cones, and cut planes. CatSim incorporates polychromaticity, realistic quantum and electronic noise models, finite focal spot size and shape, finite detector cell size, detector cross-talk, detector lag or afterglow, bowtie filtration, finite detector efficiency, non-linear partial volume, scatter (variance-reduced Monte Carlo), and absorbed dose. We present an overview of CatSim along with a number of validation experiments.
Third-generation CT architectures are approaching fundamental limits. Spatial resolution is limited by the focal spot size and the detector cell size. Temporal resolution is limited by mechanical constraints on gantry rotation speed, and alternative geometries such as electron-beam CT and two-tube-two-detector CT come with severe tradeoffs in terms of image quality, dose-efficiency and complexity. Image noise is fundamentally linked to patient dose, and dose-efficiency is limited by finite detector efficiency and by limited spatio-temporal control over the X-ray flux. Finally, volumetric coverage is limited by detector size, scattered radiation, conebeam artifacts, Heel effect, and helical over-scan. We propose a new concept, multi-source inverse geometry CT, which allows CT to break through several of the above limitations. The proposed architecture has several advantages compared to third-generation CT: the detector is small and can have a high detection efficiency, the optical spot size is more consistent throughout the field-of-view, scatter is minimized even when eliminating the anti-scatter grid, the X-ray flux from each source can be modulated independently to achieve an optimal noise-dose tradeoff, and the geometry offers unlimited coverage without cone-beam artifacts. In this work we demonstrate the advantages of multi-source inverse geometry CT using computer simulations.
The capabilities of flat panel interventional x-ray systems continue to expand, enabling a broader array of medical applications to be performed in a minimally invasive manner. Although CT is providing pre-operative 3D information, there is a need for 3D imaging of low contrast soft tissue during interventions in a number of areas including neurology, cardiac electro-physiology, and oncology. Unlike CT systems, interventional angiographic x-ray systems provide real-time large field of view 2D imaging, patient access, and flexible gantry positioning enabling interventional procedures. However, relative to CT, these C-arm flat panel systems have additional technical challenges in 3D soft tissue imaging including slower rotation speed, gantry vibration, reduced lateral patient field of view (FOV), and increased scatter. The reduced patient FOV often results in significant data truncation. Reconstruction of truncated (incomplete) data is known an "interior problem", and it is mathematically impossible to obtain an exact reconstruction. Nevertheless, it is an important problem in 3D imaging on a C-arm to address the need to generate a 3D reconstruction representative of the object being imaged with minimal artifacts. In this work we investigate the application of an iterative Maximum Likelihood Transmission (MLTR) algorithm to truncated data. We also consider truncated data with limited views for cardiac imaging where the views are gated by the electrocardiogram(ECG) to combat motion artifacts.
This paper presents a variation on our Distance Driven projection and backprojection method in which the inner loop is essentially branchless. The new inner loop structure is highly parallelizable and amenable to vectorization or highly pipelined implementations. We demonstrate that the new loop structure computes the same results as
the original method to within numerical precision.
Preliminary MTF and LCD results obtained on several volumetric computed tomography (VCT) systems, employing amorphous flat panel technology, are presented. Constructed around 20-cm x 20-cm, 200-mm pitch amorphous silicon x-ray detectors, the prototypes use standard vascular or CT x-ray sources. Data were obtained from closed-gantry, benchtop and C-arm-based topologies, over a full 360 degrees of rotation about the target object. The field of view of the devices is approximately 15 cm, with a magnification of 1.25-1.5, providing isotropic resolution at isocenter of 133-160 mm. Acquisitions have been reconstructed using the FDK algorithm, modified by motion corrections also developed by GE. Image quality data were obtained using both industry standard and custom resolution phantoms as targets. Scanner output is compared on a projection and reconstruction basis against analogous output from a dedicated simulation package, also developed at GE. Measured MTF performance is indicative of a significant advance in isotropic image resolution over commercially available systems. LCD results have been obtained, using industry standard phantoms, spanning a contrast range of 0.3-1%. Both MTF and LCD measurements agree with simulated data.