Single-material beam hardening correction via an analytical energy response model for diagnostic CT

Haase V, Hahn K, Schoendube H, Stierstorfer K, Maier A, Noo F (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


DOI: 10.1002/mp.15787


Background Various clinical studies show the potential for a wider quantitative role of diagnostic X-ray computed tomography (CT) beyond size measurements. Currently, the clinical use of attenuation values is, however, limited due to their lack of robustness. This issue can be observed even on the same scanner across patient size and positioning. There are different causes for the lack of robustness in the attenuation values; one possible source of error is beam hardening of the X-ray source spectrum. The conventional and well-established approach to address this issue is a calibration-based single material beam hardening correction (BHC) using a water cylinder. Purpose We investigate an alternative approach for single-material BHC with the aim of producing a more robust result for the attenuation values. The underlying hypothesis of this investigation is that calibration-based BHC automatically corrects for scattered radiation in a manner that is suboptimal in terms of bias as soon as the scanned object strongly deviates from the water cylinder used for calibration. Methods The approach we propose performs BHC via an analytical energy response model that is embedded into a correction pipeline that efficiently estimates and subtracts scattered radiation in a patient-specific manner prior to BHC. The estimation of scattered radiation is based on minimizing, in average, the squared difference between our corrected data and the vendor-calibrated data. The used energy response model is considering the spectral effects of the detector response and the prefiltration of the source spectrum, including a beam-shaping bowtie filter. The performance of the correction pipeline is first characterized with computer simulated data. Afterward, it is tested using real 3-D CT data sets of two different phantoms, with various kV settings and phantom positions, assuming a circular data acquisition. The results are compared in the image domain to those from the scanner. Results For experiments with a water cylinder, the proposed correction pipeline leads to similar results as the vendor. For reconstructions of a QRM liver phantom with extension ring, the proposed correction pipeline achieved a more uniform and stable outcome in the attenuation values of homogeneous materials within the phantom. For example, the root mean squared deviation between centered and off-centered phantom positioning was reduced from 6.6 to 1.8 HU in one profile. Conclusions We have introduced a patient-specific approach for single-material BHC in diagnostic CT via the use of an analytical energy response model. This approach shows promising improvements in terms of robustness of attenuation values for large patient sizes. Our results contribute toward improving CT images so as to make CT attenuation values more reliable for use in clinical practice.

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Haase, V., Hahn, K., Schoendube, H., Stierstorfer, K., Maier, A., & Noo, F. (2022). Single-material beam hardening correction via an analytical energy response model for diagnostic CT. Medical Physics.


Haase, Viktor, et al. "Single-material beam hardening correction via an analytical energy response model for diagnostic CT." Medical Physics (2022).

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