Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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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: Development of spectral X-ray computer tomography (CT) equipped with photon counting detector has been recently attracting great research interest. This work aims to improve the quality of spectral X-ray CT image. Maximum a posteriori (MAP) expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm is applied for reconstructing image-based weighting spectral X-ray CT images. A spectral X-ray CT system based on the cadmium zinc telluride photon counting detector and a fat cylinder phantom were simulated. Comparing with the commonly used filtered back projection (FBP) method, the proposed method reduced noise in the final weighting images at 2, 4, 6 and 9 energy bins up to 85.2%,…87.5%, 86.7% and 85%, respectively. CNR improvement ranged from 6.53 to 7.77. Compared with the prior image constrained compressed sensing (PICCS) method, the proposed method could reduce noise in the final weighting images by 36.5%, 44.6%, 27.3% and 18% at 2, 4, 6 and 9 energy bins, respectively, and improve the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) by 1.17 to 1.81. The simulation study also showed that comparing with the FBP and PICCS algorithms, image-based weighting imaging using MAP-EM statistical algorithm yielded significant improvement of the CNR and reduced the noise of the final weighting image.
Keywords: Photon counting detector, spectral X-ray CT, image-based weighting, maximum
a posteriori expectation-maximization (MAP-EM) algorithm
Abstract: Material discrimination is an important application of dual-energy computed tomography (CT) techniques. Projection decomposition is a key problem for pre-reconstruction material discrimination. In this study, we focused on the pre-reconstruction space based on the photoelectric and Compton effect decomposition model to characterize different material components, and proposed an efficient method to calculate the projection decomposition coefficient. We converted the complex projection integral into a linear equation by calculating the equivalent monochromatic energy from the high and low energy spectrum. Meanwhile, we constructed a dual-energy CT system based on a photon-counting detector to take small animal scan and material discrimination analysis.…Finally, the results of simulation and experimental study demonstrated the feasibility of our proposed new method, and explained the characteristics of photoelectric absorption and Compton scattering reconstruction images.
Keywords: Keywords: Dual-energy CT, photon-counting detector, material discrimination, projection
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Accreditation Council for Lung Cancer CT Screening of Japan established guidelines for the certification of Radiological Technologists in 2009. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the trends in examination pass rates of the Radiological Technologists and discuss the reasons. METHODS: The cohort comprised 1593 Radiological Technologists (as examinees) based on 10-year of data (with a total of 17 examination runs). First, the examinees’ written test results were analyzed. Second, an abnormal finding detection test was conducted using >100 client PCs connected to a dedicated server containing low-dose lung cancer CT screening images of 60 cases. The passing…scores were correct answer rate >60% and sensitivity (TP) of >90%, respectively. RESULTS: Overall, 1243 examinees passed with an overall rate of 78%. The average pass rate for the written test was 91%, whereas that for the abnormal findings detection test was 85%. There was a moderate correlation between the test pass rate and average years of clinical experience of the examinees for the abnormal findings detection test (R = 0.558), whereas no such correlation existed for the written test (R = 0.105). CONCLUSIONS: In order for accredited Radiological Technologists to serve as primary screeners of low-dose computed tomography, it is important to revise the educational system according to current standard practices.
Keywords: Lung, radiological technologist, computed tomography, education, training
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To perform quantitative measurement based on the standardized uptake value (SUV) of Tc-99m methylene diphosphonate (MDP) in the normal pelvis using a single-photon emission tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) scanner. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective study was performed on 31 patients with cancer undergoing bone SPECT/CT scans with 99m Tc-MDP. SUVmax and SUVmean of the normal pelvis were calculated based on the body weight. SUVmax and SUVmean of the bilateral anterior superior iliac spine, posterior superior iliac spine, facies auricularis ossis ilii, ischial tuberosity, and sacrum were also calculated. Furthermore, the correlation of SUVmax…and SUVmean of all parts of pelvis with weight, height, and CT was assessed. RESULTS: The data for 31 patients (20 women and 11 men; mean age 58.97±9.12 years; age range 37–87 years) were collected. SUVmax and SUVmean changed from 1.65±0.40 to 3.8±1.0 and from 1.15±0.25 to 2.07±0.58, respectively. The coefficient of variation of SUVmax and SUVmean ranged from 0.22 to 0.31. SUVmax and SUVmean had no statistically significant difference between men and women. SUVmax and SUVmean also showed no significant correlation with weight and height. However, part of SUVmax and SUVmean showed a significant correlation with CT. In addition, SUVmax and SUVmean of the bilateral ischial tuberosity showed a significant correlation with CT values. CONCLUSIONS: Determination of the SUV value of the normal pelvis with 99m Tc-MDP SPECT/CT is feasible and highly reproducible. SUVs of the normal pelvis showed a relatively large variability. As a quantitative imaging biomarker, SUVs might require standardization with adequate reference data for the participant to minimize variability.
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: 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 two 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: 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%
Abstract: Purpose: To evaluate the clinical efficacy of percutaneous trans-hepatic integrated 125 I seed stents implantation for malignant lower biliary tract obstruction. Methods: Thirty-two patients with malignant lower biliary obstruction were randomly divided into two groups. One group underwent the therapy with integrated 125 I seed stents (Test group, n = 13), and another group received conventional metal stents implantation for treatment (Control group, n = 19). The pre- and post-operative changes in biochemical indices, white blood cell count, IgG level, stent patency, survival time, tumor size and complications were compared between the two groups. RECIST 1.1…(Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors) was used to evaluate therapeutic effects. The average follow-up time was 12.3 months. Results: The differences between pre- and post-operative (30 days) intragroup biochemical indices had statistically significant difference (P < 0.05), but there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in leukocyte counts and IgG levels. As to the median time of stent patency and patients’ survival, there were significant differences (P < 0.05) between Control and Test groups (3.9 months vs. 8.1 months, 139 days vs. 298 days, respectively). Three months after the operation, the average tumor size was reduced in the Test group, but was increased in the Control group (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the incidence of complications between the two groups. The evaluation results using RECIST 1.1 showed that there were statistically significant differences between the two groups in terms of the rates of remission, control, and progression (χ 2 = 17.5, P < 0.05). Conclusions: The study indicates that integrated 125 I seed stents are effective in reducing jaundice symptoms, inhibiting tumor growth, improving stent patency and prolonging patient survival, which may serve as a safer and more feasible method in treating malignant lower biliary obstruction with minimal invasiveness.
Keywords: Brachytherapy, stents, biliary obstruction, cancer
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 one-dimensional optimization algorithm. Moreover, it is robust for noisy cases with various truncation and can be further accelerated by GPU based parallel computing.
Keywords: Projection extension, dual-constraint, scout view, integral invariance, optimization model
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.