Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology - Volume 23, issue 6
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Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology is an international journal designed for the diverse community (biomedical, industrial and academic) of users and developers of novel x-ray imaging techniques. The purpose of the journal is to provide clear and full coverage of new developments and applications in the field.
Areas such as x-ray microlithography, x-ray astronomy and medical x-ray imaging as well as new technologies arising from fields traditionally considered unrelated to x rays (semiconductor processing, accelerator technology, ionizing and non-ionizing medical diagnostic and therapeutic modalities, etc.) present opportunities for research that can meet new challenges as they arise.
Abstract: Metal artifacts often appear in the images of computed tomography (CT) imaging. In the case of lumbar spine CT images, artifacts disturb the images of critical organs. These artifacts can affect the diagnosis, treatment, and follow up care of the patient. One approach to metal artifact reduction is the sinogram completion method. A mixed-variable thresholding (MixVT) technique to identify the suitable metal sinogram is proposed. This technique consists of four steps: 1) identify the metal objects in the image by using k-mean clustering with the soft cluster assignment, 2) transform the image by separating it into two sinograms, one of…which is the sinogram of the metal object, with the surrounding tissue shown in the second sinogram. The boundary of the metal sinogram is then found by the MixVT technique, 3) estimate the new value of the missing data in the metal sinogram by linear interpolation from the surrounding tissue sinogram, 4) reconstruct a modified sinogram by using filtered back-projection and complete the image by adding back the image of the metal object into the reconstructed image to form the complete image. The quantitative and clinical image quality evaluation of our proposed technique demonstrated a significant improvement in image clarity and detail, which enhances the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment.
Keywords: Metal artifacts reduction, image quality evaluation, lumbar spine image, metal sinogram, segmentation
Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the optimization of a high energy in-line phase sensitive x-ray imaging prototype under different geometric and operating conditions for mammography application. A phase retrieval algorithm based on phase attenuation duality (PAD) was applied to the phase contrast images acquired by the prototype. Imaging performance was investigated at four magnification values of 1.67, 2, 2.5 and 3 using an acrylic edge, an American College of Radiology (ACR) mammography phantom and contrast detail (CD) phantom with tube potentials of 100, 120 and 140 kVp. The ACR and CD images were acquired at the same…mean glandular dose (MGD ) of 1.29 mGy with a computed radiography (CR) detector of 43.75 μm pixel pitch at a fixed source to image distance (SID) of 170 cm. The x-ray tube focal spot size was kept constant as 7 μm while a 2.5 mm thick aluminum (Al) filter was used for beam hardening. The performance of phase contrast and phase retrieved images were compared with computer simulations based on the relative phase contrast factor (RPF) at high x-ray energies. The imaging results showed that the x-ray tube operated at 100 kVp under the magnification of 2.5 exhibits superior imaging performance which is in accordance to the computer simulations. As compared to the phase contrast images, the phase retrieved images of the ACR and CD phantoms demonstrated improved imaging contrast and target discrimination. We compared the CD phantom images acquired in conventional contact mode with and without the anti-scatter grid using the same prototype at 1.295 mGy and 2.59 mGy using 40 kVp, a 25 μm rhodium (Rh) filter. At the same radiation dose, the phase sensitive images provided improved detection capabilities for both the large and small discs, while compared to the double dose image acquired in conventional mode, the observer study also indicated that the phase sensitive images provided improved detection capabilities for the large discs. This study therefore validates the potential of using high energy phase contrast x-ray imaging to improve lesion detection and reduce radiation dose for clinical applications such as mammography.
Abstract: Iterative reconstruction algorithms for computed tomography (CT) through total variation regularization based on piecewise constant assumption can produce accurate, robust, and stable results. Nonetheless, this approach is often subject to staircase artefacts and the loss of fine details. To overcome these shortcomings, we introduce a family of novel image regularization penalties called total generalized variation (TGV) for the effective production of high-quality images from incomplete or noisy projection data for 3D reconstruction. We propose a new, fast alternating direction minimization algorithm to solve CT image reconstruction problems through TGV regularization. Based on the theory of sparse-view image…reconstruction and the framework of augmented Lagrange function method, the TGV regularization term has been introduced in the computed tomography and is transformed into three independent variables of the optimization problem by introducing auxiliary variables. This new algorithm applies a local linearization and proximity technique to make the FFT-based calculation of the analytical solutions in the frequency domain feasible, thereby significantly reducing the complexity of the algorithm. Experiments with various 3D datasets corresponding to incomplete projection data demonstrate the advantage of our proposed algorithm in terms of preserving fine details and overcoming the staircase effect. The computation cost also suggests that the proposed algorithm is applicable to and is effective for CBCT imaging. Theoretical and technical optimization should be investigated carefully in terms of both computation efficiency and high resolution of this algorithm in application-oriented research.
Keywords: Computed tomography, iterative reconstruction, total generalized variation, alternating direction method
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Reducing the amount of time for data acquisition and reconstruction in industrial CT decreases the operation time of the X-ray machine and therefore increases the sales. This can be achieved by reducing both, the dose and the pulse length of the CT system and the number of projections for the reconstruction, respectively. OBJECTIVE: In this paper, a novel generalized Anisotropic Total Variation regularization for under-sampled, low-dose iterative CT reconstruction is discussed and compared to the standard methods, Total Variation, Adaptive weighted Total Variation and Filtered Backprojection. METHOD: The novel regularization…function uses a priori information about the Gradient Magnitude Distribution of the scanned object for the reconstruction. We provide a general parameterization scheme and evaluate the efficiency of our new algorithm for different noise levels and different number of projection views. RESULTS: When noise is not present, error-free reconstructions are achievable for AwTV and GATV from 40 projections. In cases where noise is simulated, our strategy achieves a Relative Root Mean Square Error that is up to 11 times lower than Total Variation-based and up to 4 times lower than AwTV-based iterative statistical reconstruction (e.g. for a SNR of 223 and 40 projections). CONCLUSION: To obtain the same reconstruction quality as achieved by Total Variation, the projection number and the pulse length, and the acquisition time and the dose respectively can be reduced by a factor of approximately 3.5, when AwTV is used and a factor of approximately 6.7, when our proposed algorithm is used.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate quantitatively the dosimetric factors that increase the risk of clinical complications of rib fractures or chest wall pain after stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to the lung. The correlations of clinical complications with standard-uptake values (SUV) and FDG-PET activity distributions from post-treatment PET-imaging were studied. Mean and maximum doses from treatment plans, FDG-PET activity values on post-SBRT PET scans and the presence of clinical complications were determined in fifteen patients undergoing 16 SBRT treatments for lung cancer. SBRT treatments were delivered in 3 to 5 fractions using 5 to 7 fields to…prescription doses in the range from 39.0 to 60.0 Gy. The dose and FDG-PET activity values were extracted from regions of interest in the chest wall that matched anatomically. Quantitative evaluation of the correlation between dose deposition and FDG-PET activity was performed by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient using pixel-by-pixel analysis of dose and FDG-PET activity maps in selected regions of interest associated with clinical complications. Overall, three of fifteen patients developed rib fractures with chest wall pain, and two patients developed pain symptoms without fracture. The mean dose to the rib cage in patients with fractures was 37.53 Gy compared to 33.35 Gy in patients without fractures. Increased chest wall activity as determined by FDG-uptake was noted in patients who developed rib fractures. Enhanced activity from PET-images correlated strongly with high doses deposited to the chest wall which could be predicted by a linear relationship. The local enhanced activity was associated with the development of clinical complications such as chest wall inflammation and rib fracture. This study demonstrates that rib fractures and chest wall pain can occur after SBRT treatments to the lung and is associated with increased activity on subsequent PET scans. The FDG-PET activity provides a useful parameter that can be used clinically to predict chest wall complication in lung patients.
Keywords: Lung cancer, stereotactic body radiation therapy, PET imaging, standard-uptake value, clinical complications
Abstract: PURPOSE: To explore the characteristics of variously differentiated gastric cancers on computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging, including specific perfusion parameter values, and potential clinical applications in the prognosis assessment of gastric cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty patients with gastric cancer confirmed by gastroscope pathology were studied prospectively using CT perfusion imaging examinations on a 64-slice spiral CT scanner. The acquired volume data were used for calculations, mapping, and analysis by using an abdominal tumor perfusion protocol (deconvolution method) in the CT perfusion software package to measure 4 parameters: blood flow (BF), blood volume (BV), mean transit…time (MTT), and the permeability surface (PS) area product. The different differentiated Gastric cancers with CT perfusion values were divided into 3 groups: well-differentiated, moderately differentiated and poorly differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma, and compared statistically with one another by statistical software. RESULTS: The mean perfusion values of 10 patients with well-differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma were as follows: BF, 75.28 ± 6.81 mL/100 g/min; BV, 9.01 ± 0.94 mL/100 g; MTT, 9.89 ± 1.65 s; and PS, 10.05 ± 0.71 mL/100 g/min. The mean perfusion values of 24 patients with moderately differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma were as follows: BF, 110.01 ± 31.90 mL/100 g/min; BV, 18.18 ± 5.62 mL/100 g; MTT, 9.81 ± 3.69 s; and PS, 40.08 ± 15.82 mL/100 g/min. The mean perfusion values of 16 patients with poorly differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma were as follows: BF, 138.59 ± 38.09 mL/100 g/min; BV, 21.08 ± 4.11 mL/100 g; MTT, 9.47 ± 1.80 s; and PS, 57.50 ± 13.28 mL/100 g/min. Comparing the 3 groups, differences between the well-differentiated group and the moderate differentiation group were all statistically significant for BF, BV, and PS (p < 0.05, respectively), differences between the well-differentiated group and the poor differentiation group were all statistically significant for BF, BV, and PS (p < 0.05,respectively) as well; While MTT value showed no statistical difference among the 3 groups (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Stomach CT perfusion imaging is a functional imaging technology from the perspective of hemodynamics with potential clinical applications. The BF, BV and PS values could serve as indicators of the degree of malignancy and aid in prognostic assessment of gastric cancer.
Abstract: The availability of high resolution, energy discriminating photon counting detectors should make it possible to use Compton scattered photons to improve the diagnostic capability of computed tomography (CT). With high, spatial and energy resolution detectors Compton scatter tomography (CST) images of adequate quality can be obtained with a single projection. In practice, the limitations of realistic detectors require multiple projections for good quality images. The relationship between the number of projections used for reconstruction and the reconstructed image quality obtained for conventional CT does not necessarily apply to multi-projection Compton scatter tomography (MPCST). The purpose of this work was to…investigate the dependence of the reconstructed image quality on the number of projections for MPCST. Analytical simulations and reconstructions were used to evaluate the contrast and spatial resolution for images reconstructed with one to 720 projections. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) and the modulation transfer functions (MTF) demonstrated that the contrast increases monotonically with the number of projections while spatial resolution was independent of the number of projections. The contrast initially increases rapidly with projection number, becoming more gradual as the number of projections increase, with the rate of change being a function of fluence. The number of projections required to asymptotically approach the maximum contrast decreases as the fluence increases, with no indication of an optimal value for the range of fluences and projections investigated. For the projections considered, an increase in the number of projections increases the CNR even though the number of photons per projection decreases.
Keywords: Compton scatter tomography, number of projections
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Limited-angle problem occurs in many applications of X-ray computed tomography (CT) and it will lead to artifacts. OBJECTIVE: In this paper, we present the tomographic imaging of pipeline which is in service by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). And our purpose is to suppress the artifacts caused by the limited-angle problem. METHODS: First, traditional helical scanning strategy is adopted for the pipeline where can be fully scanned, and the slices with less or no defects from the reconstructed image are selected to constitute the prior image. Then a limited-angle reverse helical scanning strategy…is developed for the pipeline where can be scanned within limited angular range. Second, considering the constraint of the prior image and the resemblance among slices of pipeline, an image model which incorporates the Schatten p(0<p<1)-norm penalty term is developed. Finally, split Bregman algorithm based method is utilized to solve the model. RESULTS: Numerical results show that our method is efficient and feasible in suppressing artifacts and it is superior to popular methods when the angular range is small. CONCLUSION: The developed method is promising in suppressing the artifacts in limited-angle problems, and it can be potentially used in pipeline testing.
Abstract: We present a novel method which provides X-ray CT users the flexibility to reconstruct an object along any of its internal flat features. This internal feature, which is generally not parallel to the object's external surface, can be either an interface between two materials or one surface of an internal layer. This method is developed based on our existing CT differential reconstruction algorithm that is achieved by modifying the popular Feldkamp-Davis-Kress cone-beam reconstruction technique. The theory of this technology is described. One case-study demonstrates that this method is independent of the surface selection of several parallel features. Another case-study shows…its capability to reconstruct any individual plate along the plate's own orientation with a three-plate object.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: K-trigger signals from light source or external Mach-Zehnder interferometer are commonly used in swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) to achieve interference signal sampling and resolution enhancement. But extra signal transmission time is required due to the increased complexity of interference system using k-trigger signals, resulting in a misalignment (a.k.a., time delay) between the k-trigger and the interference signals. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to propose a numerical technique to correct the time delay between these two signals. METHODS: The time delay is iterated in this technique and each…iterated correction result is evaluated through calculating the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of peaks in time-domain. The precise alignment between the k-trigger and interference signals coincides with the minimum value of FWHM. RESULTS: The experimental results show that the FWHM can be improved by up to 50% using this time delay correction technique. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed technique assists to provide precise sample tomography, thus enhancing the way of understanding sample characteristic.
Keywords: (110.4500) Optical coherence tomography (OCT), (070.0070) fourier optics and signal processing, (070.4340) nonlinear optical signal processing, (350.5730) resolution, (080.1753) computation methods