Modularized Data-Driven Reconstruction Framework for Non-ideal Focal Spot Effect Elimination in Computed Tomography.

Modularized Data-Driven Reconstruction Framework for Non-ideal Focal Spot Effect Elimination in Computed Tomography.

Med Phys. 2021 Feb 17;:

Authors: Zhang Z, Yu L, Zhao W, Xing L

Abstract
PURPOSE: High-performance computed tomography (CT) plays a vital role in clinical decision making. However, the performance of CT imaging is adversely affected by the non-ideal focal spot size of the X-ray source or degraded by an enlarged focal spot size due to aging. In this work, we aim to develop a deep learning-based strategy to mitigate the problem so that high spatial resolution CT images can be obtained even in the case of a non-ideal X-ray source.
METHODS: To reconstruct high-quality CT images from blurred sinograms via joint image and sinogram learning, a cross-domain hybrid model is formulated via deep learning into a modularized data-driven reconstruction (MDR) framework. The proposed MDR framework comprises several blocks, and all the blocks share the same network architecture and network parameters. In essence, each block utilizes two sub-models to generate an estimated blur kernel and a high-quality CT image simultaneously. In this way, our framework generates not only a final high-quality CT image but also a series of intermediate images with gradually improved anatomical details, enhancing the visual perception for clinicians through the dynamic process. We used simulated training datasets to train our model in an end-to-end manner and tested our model on both simulated and realistic experimental datasets.
RESULTS: On the simulated testing datasets, our approach increases the information fidelity criterion (IFC) by up to 34.2%, the universal quality index (UQI) by up to 20.3%, the signal-to-noise (SNR) by up to 6.7%, and reduces the root mean square error (RMSE) by up to 10.5% as compared with FBP. Compared with the iterative deconvolution method (NSM), MDR increases IFC by up to 24.7%, UQI by up to 16.7%, SNR by up to 6.0%, and reduces RMSE by up to 9.4%. In the modulation transfer function (MTF) experiment, our method improves the MTF50% by 34.5% and MTF10% by 18.7% as compared with FBP, Similarly remarkably, our method improves MTF50% by 14.3% and MTF10% by 0.9% as compared with NSM. Also, our method shows better imaging results in the edge of bony structures and other tiny structures in the experiments using phantom consisting of ham and a bottle of peanuts.
CONCLUSIONS: A modularized data-driven CT reconstruction framework is established to mitigate the blurring effect caused by a non-ideal X-ray source with relatively large focal spot. The proposed method enables us to obtain high-resolution images with less ideal X-ray source.

PMID: 33595900 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]