Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology - Volume 26, issue 5
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Impact Factor 2019: 1.662
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: Cylindrical phantoms are often imaged by X-ray computed tomography (CT) to evaluate the extent of beam hardening (or cupping artifact) resulting from a polychromatic X-ray source. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to derive analytical expressions for the reconstructed image of a homogeneous cylindrical phantom exhibiting a cupping artifact, to permit a quantitative comparison with experimental cupping data. METHODS: A filtered backprojection method was employed to obtain the analytical cupping profile for the phantom, assuming that the projection data could be approximated as a power series with respect to the sample penetration thickness. RESULTS: The…cupping profile was obtained analytically as a series of functions by employing Ramachandran filtering with an infinite Nyquist wavenumber. The quantitative relationship between the power series of the projection and the n th moment of the linear attenuation coefficient spectrum of the phantom was also determined. Application of the obtained cupping profile to the evaluation of the practical reconstruction filters with a finite Nyquist wavenumber and to the best choice of the contrast agent was demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: The set of exact solutions derived in this work should be applicable to the analysis of cylindrical phantom experiments intended to evaluate CT systems.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: X-ray CT/micro-CT methods with photon-counting detectors (PCDs) and high Z materials are a hot research topic. One method using PCDs allows for spectral imaging in 5 energy windows while conventional X-ray detectors only collect energy-integrating data. OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the enhanced separation of contrast materials by using PCDs, multivariate analysis, and linear discriminant methods. METHODS: Phantoms containing iodine and aqueous nanomaterials were scanned on a MARS spectral micro-CT. Image volumes were segmented into separate material-specific populations. Contrast comparisons were made by calculating T 2 test statistics in the univariate, pseudo-conventional and multivariate, spectral CT…data sets. Separability after Fisher discriminant analysis (FDA) was also assessed. RESULTS: The T 2 values calculated for material comparisons increased as a result of the spectral expansion. The majority of the tested contrast agents showed increased T 2 values by a factor of ∼2 -3. The total significant T 2 statistics in the pure and mixed lanthanide image sets increased in the spectral data set. CONCLUSION: This work consolidates the groundwork for photon-counting-based material decomposition with micro-CT, facilitating future development of novel nanomaterials and their preclinical applications.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Accurate measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) in dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is essential for proper diagnosis of osteoporosis. Calculation of BMD requires precise bone segmentation and subtraction of soft tissue absorption. Femur segmentation remains a challenge as many existing methods fail to correctly distinguish femur from soft tissue. Reasons for this failure include low contrast and noise in DXA images, bone shape variability, and inconsistent X-ray beam penetration and attenuation, which cause shadowing effects and person-to-person variation. OBJECTIVE: To present a new method namely, a Pixel Label Decision Tree (PLDT), and test whether it can achieve…higher accurate performance in femur segmentation in DXA imaging. METHODS: PLDT involves mainly feature extraction and selection. Unlike photographic images, X-ray images include features on the surface and inside an object. In order to reveal hidden patterns in DXA images, PLDT generates seven new feature maps from existing high energy (HE) and low energy (LE) X-ray features and determines the best feature set for the model. The performance of PLDT in femur segmentation is compared with that of three widely used medical image segmentation algorithms, the Global Threshold (GT), Region Growing Threshold (RGT), and artificial neural networks (ANN). RESULTS: PLDT achieved a higher accuracy of femur segmentation in DXA imaging (91.4%) than either GT (68.4%), RGT (76%) or ANN (84.4%). CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that PLDT outperformed other conventional segmentation techniques in segmenting DXA images. Improved segmentation should help accurate computation of BMD which later improves clinical diagnosis of osteoporosis.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to apply texture analysis to investigate whether there was a change in the lens following radiotherapy. PATIENTS AND METHOD: Patients who received radiotherapy (RT) for head and neck cancer or brain tumor were enrolled. Computed tomography (CT) images taken in the last month before RT and the most recent images after RT were compared. Entropy values were calculated using lens attenuation values. The lens doses were obtained from the dose-volume histogram data. RESULTS: A total of 55 lenses were evaluated. The mean Hounsfield Unit value of the lenses was…66.14±12.16 before RT and 72.02±9.12 after RT (p = 0.007). The mean entropy value was 1.87±0.31 before RT and this reduced to 1.31±0.34 after RT (p < 0.001), respectively. As time increased, the difference in entropy also increased (p = 0.007). A correlation close to statistical significance was determined between the entropy difference and minimum, maximum and mean lens radiation dose (p = 0.052, p = 0.052, p = 0.063, respectively). The entropy difference was significantly reduced in the >4 Gy group (p = 0.046). CONCLUSION: Study results indicated that the entropy values in the lens were signifcantly changed after radiotherapy and the degree of the change associated with dose and time.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In clinical computed tomography (CT) applications, when a patient is obese or improperly positioned, the final tomographic scan is often partially truncated. Images directly reconstructed by the conventional reconstruction algorithms suffer from severe cupping and direct current bias artifacts. Moreover, the current methods for projection extension have limitations that preclude incorporation from clinical workflows, such as prohibitive computational time for iterative reconstruction, extra radiation dose, hardware modification, etc . METHOD: In this study, we first established a geometrical constraint and estimated the patient habitus using a modified scout configuration. Then, we established an energy constraint using the…integral invariance of fan-beam projections. Two constraints were extracted from the existing CT scan process with minimal modification to the clinical workflows. Finally, we developed a novel dual-constraint based optimization model that can be rapidly solved for projection extrapolation and accurate local reconstruction. RESULTS: Both numerical phantom and realistic patient image simulations were performed, and the results confirmed the effectiveness of our proposed approach. CONCLUSION: We establish a dual-constraint-based optimization model and correspondingly develop an accurate extrapolation method for partially truncated projections. The proposed method can be readily integrated into the clinical workflow and efficiently solved by using a one-dimensional optimization algorithm. Moreover, it is robust for noisy cases with various truncations and can be further accelerated by GPU based parallel computing.
Keywords: Projection extension, dual-constraint, scout view, integral invariance, optimization model
Abstract: Mobile X-ray device is widely employed because it is useful for diagnosis in patients having mobility difficulties and in medical emergencies. As various devices for X-ray generation have continued to be developed, X-ray devices can now be used more safely and effectively. However, mobile X-ray devices generate relatively low X-ray doses due to the limitation of the power input. Therefore, the use of mobile X-ray devices is limited to thin parts of body. In this study, a new device was designed in order to increase the usefulness of mobile X-ray devices by offsetting the weaknesses of the existing mobile X-ray…devices, rendering them useable independently. A supercapacitor and battery were used as the internal power source for the X-ray generation in the manufactured device. The pulse width modulation (PWM) method is applied to control the tube voltage and current required for generating the X-ray, and the pulse frequency modulation (PFM) method is applied to the control to generate the high voltage in order to enhance the precision and efficiency. The manufactured X-ray device was used to evaluate the control signal, frequency, and output characteristics according to changes in tube voltage and current. Based on the results of X-ray generation, it is confirmed that precise control was achieved by X-ray generation increases linearly with increasing tube voltage and tube current. This means that precise control of the manufactured mobile X-ray device is passible. In addition, the study confirmed that stable output was achieved by checking the tube voltage, tube current and exposure rate during the exposure times by high power condition.
Keywords: Mobile X-ray, supercapacitor, internal power, exposure rate
Abstract: Since the excessive radiation dose may induce potential body lesion, the low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is widely applied for clinical diagnosis and treatment. However, the dose reduction will inevitably cause severe noise and degrade image quality. Most state-of-the-art methods utilize a pre-determined regularizer to account for the prior images, which may be insufficient for the most images acquired in the clinical practice. This study proposed and investigated a joint regularization method combining a data-driven tight frame and total variation (DDTF-TV) to solve this problem. Unlike the existing methods that designed pre-determined sparse transform for image domain, data-driven regularizer introduced a…learning strategy to adaptively and iteratively update the framelets of DDTF, which can preferably recover the detailed image structures. The other regularizer, TV term can reconstruct strong edges and suppress noise. The joint term, DDTF-TV, collaboratively affect detail preservation and noise suppression. The proposed new model was efficiently solved by alternating the direction method of the multipliers. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations were carried out in simulation and real data experiments to demonstrate superiority of the proposed DDTF-TV method. Both visual inspection and numerical accuracy analysis show the potential of the proposed method for improving image quality of the LDCT.
Keywords: Low-dose computed tomography, iterative image reconstruction, data-driven tight frame, total variation, alternating direction method
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Various imaging modalities have been used to diagnose suspicious breast lesions. Purpose of this study is to compare the diagnostic accuracy for breast cancer using mammography, ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). METHODS: Total 107 patients aged from 19 to 62 years are included in this retrospective study. Mammography, ultrasonography and MRI scans were performed for each patient detected with suspected breast tumor within a month. In addition, the tumor diversity (10 types of benign and 5 types of malignant) was confirmed by pathological findings of tumor biopsy. To compare the diagnosis performance of the three imaging…modalities, the overall fraction correct (accuracy), positive predict value (PPV), negative predict value (NPV), sensitivity and specificity were calculated. Meanwhile, the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was also performed. RESULTS: The diagnostic accuracy ranged from 78.5% to 86.9% among three imaging modalities. All modalities yielded a PPV lower than 77.8% and a NPV higher than 90.0% in identifying the presence of malignant tumors. MRI presented a diagnostic accuracy of 86.9%, as well as a sensitivity of 95.5% and an area under curve (AUC) of 0.948, which are higher than mammography and ultrasonography. CONCLUSION: By using a diverse dataset and comparing the diagnostic accuracy of three imaging modalities commonly used in breast cancer detection and diagnosis, this study also demonstrated that mammography, ultrasonography and MRI had different diagnostic performance in breast tumor identification. Among them, MRI yielded the highest performance even though the unexpected specificity may lead to over-diagnosis, and ultrosonography is slightly better than mammography.
Keywords: Mammography, ultrasonography, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), breast cancer diagnosis, diagnostic performance assessment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Images of industrial cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) contain noise and beam hardening artifacts, which induce difficulty and low precision in segmenting regions of interest. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study is to improve the segmentation precision of CBCT series slice images. METHODS: This paper presents a method based on the Phansalkar to segment CBCT series slice images precisely. First, the basics of the proposed method and the necessity of changing the local window size are analysed. The adaptive accumulated Phansalkar, which collects each pixel’s classification results in different local windows, is proposed. Second, the…bimodal distribution of the histogram is used to calculate the appropriate local window size for each pixel adaptively. Third, the characteristics of the accumulated probability (the accumulated classification results divided by the accumulated times) are analysed, from which an adaptive method is applied to segment the accumulated probability. Last, experiments are conducted on CBCT series slice images of three workpieces and one computer-aided design (CAD) model with internal defects. RESULTS: The proposed new method can segment CBCT images with noise and beam-hardening well. Moreover, for the segmentation of all four CBCT series slice images, the new method acquired the highest BF and AOM scores (1 and 0.9981) with the smallest standard deviation (0.0013) as compared with other existing methods including CMF (continuous max-flow/min cut), MS (mean-shift), DRLSE (distance regularized level set evolution), and ARKFCM (adaptively regularized kernel-based fuzzy c-means clustering). CONCLUSIONS: The experimental results support that our new method can more precisely segment CBCT series slice images with noise and artifacts than many existing methods. Thus, the new method has prospective application value and can provide valuable technical support for the industrial CBCT image post-processing system.
Abstract: The article presents and discusses results of an experimental study regarding the accuracy of measurements performed with X-ray CT scanners. One of the main factors affecting the measurement result is definition of the threshold value between the air and the material. In this study, the results of measurements using two methods to determine the threshold value namely, the newly developed method and a well-known and commonly used method of ISO50%, were compared. A novel method is based on the measurement of an additional reference workpiece. The correction value, based on the measurement, is determined, and then it takes account when…determining the threshold value between the air and the material. The study was performed using two types of gauges. These were workpieces of a specified volume of material (consisting of reference balls) and with the defined values of linear dimensions (in the form of cubes and cylinder). Using five different CT scanners, the conducted study yielded increase in the accuracy of measurements by applying the developed method in relation to the ISO50% automated method. In the case of volumetric test workpieces, relative measurement errors were reduced by 3 to 10 times for metrological CT scanners and from 50 to 30% for defectoscopy CT scanners. In the case of linear dimension measurements, average measurement errors were reduced twice.
Keywords: X-ray tomography, air-material threshold, accuracy of measurements, ISO50%