Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology - Volume 25, issue 3
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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: BACKGROUND: Non-intrusive inspection systems based on X-ray radiography techniques are routinely used at transport hubs to ensure the conformity of cargo content with the supplied shipping manifest. As trade volumes increase and regulations become more stringent, manual inspection by trained operators is less and less viable due to low throughput. Machine vision techniques can assist operators in their task by automating parts of the inspection workflow. Since cars are routinely involved in trafficking, export fraud, and tax evasion schemes, they represent an attractive target for automated detection and flagging for subsequent inspection by operators. OBJECTIVE: Development and…evaluation of a novel method for the automated detection of cars in complex X-ray cargo imagery. METHODS: X-ray cargo images from a stream-of-commerce dataset were classified using a window-based scheme. The limited number of car images was addressed by using an oversampling scheme. Different Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architectures were compared with well-established bag of words approaches. In addition, robustness to concealment was evaluated by projection of objects into car images. RESULTS: CNN approaches outperformed all other methods evaluated, achieving 100% car image classification rate for a false positive rate of 1-in-454. Cars that were partially or completely obscured by other goods, a modus operandi frequently adopted by criminals, were correctly detected. CONCLUSIONS: We believe that this level of performance suggests that the method is suitable for deployment in the field. It is expected that the generic object detection workflow described can be extended to other object classes given the availability of suitable training data.
Keywords: Security, Deep Learning, X-ray cargo image, Classification
Abstract: Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) has attracted attentions in the last two decades due to its intrinsic sensitivity in imaging chromophores of tissues such as hemoglobin, water, and lipid. However, DOT has not been clinically accepted yet due to its low spatial resolution caused by strong optical scattering in tissues. Structural guidance provided by an anatomical imaging modality enhances the DOT imaging substantially. Here, we propose a computed tomography (CT) guided multispectral DOT imaging system for breast cancer imaging. To validate its feasibility, we have built a prototype DOT imaging system which consists of a laser at the wavelength of 650 nm…and an electron multiplying charge coupled device (EMCCD) camera. We have validated the CT guided DOT reconstruction algorithms with numerical simulations and phantom experiments, in which different imaging setup parameters, such as projection number of measurements and width of measurement patch, have been investigated. Our results indicate that an air-cooling EMCCD camera is good enough for the transmission mode DOT imaging. We have also found that measurements at six angular projections are sufficient for DOT to reconstruct the optical targets with 2 and 4 times absorption contrast when the CT guidance is applied. Finally, we have described our future research plan on integration of a multispectral DOT imaging system into a breast CT scanner.
Keywords: Diffuse optical tomography, multi-modality imaging, breast cancer imaging
Abstract: Grating-based differential phase contrast (DPC) imaging enables the use of a hospital-grade X-ray tube, but compromises the image quality due to insufficiently coherent illumination. In this research, a bench-top DPC cone beam CT (DPC-CBCT) was systematically evaluated and compared with the traditional attenuation-based CBCT in terms of contrast to noise ratio, noise property, and contrast resolution through phantom studies. In order to evaluate DPC-CBCT for soft tissue imaging, breast specimen and small animal studies were carried out. Phantom studies indicate that phase image has lower-frequency noise, higher CNR, and improved contrast resolution. However, phase image quality was degraded in soft…tissue imaging due to coherence loss caused by small-angle scattering. Hence dark-field imaging was introduced to quantitatively investigate small-angle scattering caused by an object. Experimental results indicate that inhomogeneous objects affect phase contrast imaging, phase image is more sensitive to noise, and its performance is material dependent. Dark-field imaging could also be used to locate and reduce phase image noise and artifact caused by small-angle scattering.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to utilize a dedicated breast CT system using a 2D beam stop array to physically evaluate the scatter to primary ratios (SPRs) of different geometric phantoms and prospectively acquired clinical patient data. METHODS: Including clinically unrealizable compositions of 100% glandular and 100% fat, projection images were acquired using three geometrically different phantoms filled with fluids simulating breast tissue. The beam stop array method was used for measuring scatter in projection space, and creating the scatter corrected primary images. 2D SPRs were calculated. Additionally, a new figure of merit, the 3D…normalized scatter contribution (NSC) volumes were calculated. RESULTS: The 2D SPR values (0.52–1.10) were primarily dependent on phantom geometry; a secondary dependence was due to their uniform density; 2D SPRs were low frequency and smoothly varying in the uniformly filled phantoms. SPRs of clinical patient data followed similar trends as phantoms, but with noticeable deviations and high frequency components due to the heterogeneous distribution of glandular tissue. The maximum measured patient 2D SPRs were all <0.6, even for the largest diameter breast. These results demonstrate modest scatter components with changing object geometries and densities; the 3D NSC volumes with higher frequency components help visualize scatter distribution throughout the reconstructed image volumes. Furthermore, the SPRs in the heterogeneous clinical breast cases were underestimated by the equivalent density, uniformly filled phantoms. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide guidance on the use of uniformly distributed density and differently shaped phantoms when considering simulations. They also clearly demonstrate that results from patients can vary considerably from 2D SPRs of uniformly simulated phantoms.
Keywords: Mammotomography, breast CT, scatter correction, beam stop array, scatter-to-primary ratio
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study aims to develop a computerized scheme that utilizes a differential geometric approach to identify pulmonary vessels and then evaluate the performance of the scheme on the CT images of heavy smokers. METHODS: The scheme consists of two primary steps to segment entire lung vascular tree and identify the number of pulmonary vessels in a cross section. The scheme performance including accuracy, consistency, and efficiency was assessed using 102 chest CT scans. Further assessment was performed on the relationship between pulmonary vessels and the extent of emphysema as well as pulmonary artery alteration. RESULTS:…The mean number of vessels in the cross section at the 5th generation was 17.84±4.74 and 17.23±4.85 assessed by computerized scheme and radiologists, respectively, which are significantly different (t = 2.12, p = 0.055). The results were consistent with those obtained by using a semi-automatic tool (r = 0.75, p = 0.01). In addition, in the 5th generation, the mean number of vessels was inversely related to the percentage of the low attenuation area (r = –0.704, p = 0.000), the mean lumen area of pulmonary vessel was inversely related to the mean value of main pulmonary artery diameter (r = –0.617, p = 0.000). The computational time of segmenting vessels was 6.50±0.02 seconds, which is much less than the average 8 minutes of the time spent by radiologists using the semi-automatic tool. CONCLUSION: Applying the computerized scheme yields reasonable performance on the segmentation of pulmonary vessels. The alteration of pulmonary vessels may reflect the presence of pulmonary hypertension, as well as the extent of emphysema.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Currently, no standardized method for measuring intrahepatic fat density via conventional computed tomography (CT) exists. OBJECTIVE: We aim to quantify intrahepatic fat density via material decomposition analysis using rapid kilovolt peak-switching dual-energy (RSDE) CT. METHODS: Homogenized porcine liver and fat (lard) were mixed in various ratios to produce phantoms for fat density verification. The actual fat density was measured on the basis of the phantom volume and weight, and these measurements were used as reference densities. The fat and liver mass attenuation coefficients, which were used as the material basis pairs, were employed in…the material decomposition analysis. Then, the measured fat density of each phantom was compared with the reference densities. RESULTS: For fat content differences exceeding 2%, the measured fat density for the phantoms became statistically significant (p < 0.01). The correlation between the reference densities and RSDE-measured fat densities was reasonably high (R > 0.9997); this indicates the validity of this analysis method. CONCLUSIONS: Intrahepatic fat density can be measured using the mass attenuation coefficients of fat and liver in a material decomposition analysis. Given the knowledge of the accuracy and the limitations found in this study, our method can quantitatively evaluate fat density.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The beam hardening artifact is one of most important modalities of metal artifact for polychromatic X-ray computed tomography (CT), which can impair the image quality seriously. OBJECTIVE: An iterative approach is proposed to reduce beam hardening artifact caused by metallic components in polychromatic X-ray CT. METHODS: According to Lambert-Beer law, the (detected) projections can be expressed as monotonic nonlinear functions of element geometry projections, which are the theoretical projections produced only by the pixel intensities (image grayscale) of certain element (component). With help of a prior knowledge on spectrum distribution of X-ray beam source…and energy-dependent attenuation coefficients, the functions have explicit expressions. Newton-Raphson algorithm is employed to solve the functions. The solutions are named as the synthetical geometry projections, which are the nearly linear weighted sum of element geometry projections with respect to mean of each attenuation coefficient. In this process, the attenuation coefficients are modified to make Newton-Raphson iterative functions satisfy the convergence conditions of fixed pointed iteration(FPI) so that the solutions will approach the true synthetical geometry projections stably. The underlying images are obtained using the projections by general reconstruction algorithms such as the filtered back projection (FBP). The image gray values are adjusted according to the attenuation coefficient means to obtain proper CT numbers. RESULTS: Several examples demonstrate the proposed approach is efficient in reducing beam hardening artifacts and has satisfactory performance in the term of some general criteria. In a simulation example, the normalized root mean square difference (NRMSD) can be reduced 17.52% compared to a newest algorithm. CONCLUSIONS: Since the element geometry projections are free from the effect of beam hardening, the nearly linear weighted sum of them, the synthetical geometry projections, are almost free from the effect of beam hardening. By working out the synthetical geometry projections, the proposed approach becomes quite efficient in reducing beam hardening artifacts.
Abstract: Nowadays, diversities of task-specific applications for computed tomography (CT) have already proposed multiple challenges for algorithm design of image reconstructions. Consequently, efficient algorithm design tool is necessary to be established. A fast and efficient algorithm design framework for CT image reconstruction, which is based on alternating direction method (ADM) with ordered subsets (OS), is proposed, termed as OS-ADM. The general ideas of ADM and OS have been abstractly introduced and then they are combined for solving convex optimizations in CT image reconstruction. Standard procedures are concluded for algorithm design which contain 1) model mapping, 2) sub-problem dividing and 3) solving,…4) OS level setting and 5) algorithm evaluation. Typical reconstruction problems are modeled as convex optimizations, including (non-negative) least-square, constrained L1 minimization, constrained total variation (TV) minimization and TV minimizations with different data fidelity terms. Efficient working algorithms for these problems are derived with detailed derivations by the proposed framework. In addition, both simulations and real CT projections are tested to verify the performances of two TV-based algorithms. Experimental investigations indicate that these algorithms are of the state-of-the-art performances. The algorithm instances show that the proposed OS-ADM framework is promising for practical applications.
Keywords: Image reconstruction, alternating direction method, ordered subsets, optimization-based algorithm designframework, fast working algorithm design
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: As recent studies have suggested relatively low α/β for prostate cancer, the interest in hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer is rising. The aim of this study is to compare dosimetric results of Cyberknife (CK) with Tomotherapy (HT) in SBRT for localized prostate cancer. Furthermore, the radiobiologic consequences of heterogeneous dose distribution are also analyzed. MATERIAL AND METHOD: A total of 12 cases of localized prostate cancer previously treated with SBRT were collected. Treatments had been planned and delivered using CK. Then HT plans were generated for comparison afterwards. The prescribed dose…was 37.5Gy in 5 fractions. Dosimetric indices for target volumes and organs at risk (OAR) were compared. For radiobiological evaluation, generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) were calculated and compared. RESULT: Both CK and HT achieved target coverage while meeting OAR constraints adequately. HT plans resulted in better dose homogeneity (Homogeneity index: 1.04±0.01 vs. 1.21±0.01; p = 0.0022), target coverage (97.74±0.86% vs. 96.56±1.17%; p = 0.0076) and conformity (new vonformity index: 1.16±0.05 vs. 1.21±0.04; p = 0.0096). HT was shown to predict lower late rectal toxicity as compared to CK. Integral dose to body was also significantly lower in HT plans (46.59±6.44 Gy’L vs 57.05±11.68 Gy’L; p = 0.0029). CONCLUSION: Based on physical dosimetry and radiobiologic considerations, HT may have advantages over CK, specifically in rectal sparing which could translate into clinical benefit of decreased late toxicities.
Keywords: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), prostate cancer, equivalent uniform dose (EUD), normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), cyberknife, tomotherapy
Abstract: Antibacterial surfaces such as copper coatings are able to reduce the growth of bacteria. In this study, copper coatings was deposited on the 316 stainless steel substrates by a handmade device operating as an atmospheric plasma spraying system. The chemical composition microstructure and morphology surface of the coatings are examined by x-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) and back scattering electron microscope (BSE). Micro hardness as one of the key properties of the coating is characterized based on cross-section. We also evaluate the thickness and the adhesion strength of the coating. Dissection material of coating is performed by…energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX). Further, the antibacterial activity of our coatings is assessed by both gram negative Escherichia coli ATCC 10536 and gram positive Staphylococcus aureus PTCC 1112 bacteria. As the last step, the antibacterial performance of the coated stainless steel surface with copper are compared to uncoated one. Results confirm that the copper coatings improve the antibacterial property of substrates and owning fine antibacterial behavior compared to stainless steel.