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Proceedings Paper

Improving the imaging of calcifications in CT by histogram-based selective deblurring
Author(s): Empar Rollano-Hijarrubia; Frits van der Meer; Add van der Lugt; Harrie Weinans; Henry Vrooman; Albert Vossepoel; Rik Stokking
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Paper Abstract

Imaging of small high-density structures, such as calcifications, with computed tomography (CT) is limited by the spatial resolution of the system. Blur causes small calcifications to be imaged with lower contrast and overestimated volume, thereby hampering the analysis of vessels. The aim of this work is to reduce the blur of calcifications by applying three-dimensional (3D) deconvolution. Unfortunately, the high-frequency amplification of the deconvolution produces edge-related ring artifacts and enhances noise and original artifacts, which degrades the imaging of low-density structures. A method, referred to as Histogram-based Selective Deblurring (HiSD), was implemented to avoid these negative effects. HiSD uses the histogram information to generate a restored image in which the low-intensity voxel information of the observed image is combined with the high-intensity voxel information of the deconvolved image. To evaluate HiSD we scanned four in-vitro atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries with a multislice spiral CT and with a microfocus CT (μCT), used as reference. Restored images were generated from the observed images, and qualitatively and quantitatively compared with their corresponding μCT images. Transverse views and maximum-intensity projections of restored images show the decrease of blur of the calcifications in 3D. Measurements of the areas of 27 calcifications and total volumes of calcification of 4 plaques show that the overestimation of calcification was smaller for restored images (mean-error: 90% for area; 92% for volume) than for observed images (143%; 213%, respectively). The qualitative and quantitative analyses show that the imaging of calcifications in CT can be improved considerably by applying HiSD.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5745, Medical Imaging 2005: Physics of Medical Imaging, (20 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.595491
Show Author Affiliations
Empar Rollano-Hijarrubia, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Frits van der Meer, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Add van der Lugt, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Harrie Weinans, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Henry Vrooman, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Albert Vossepoel, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Rik Stokking, Erasmus MC/Univ. Medical Ctr. Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5745:
Medical Imaging 2005: Physics of Medical Imaging
Michael J. Flynn, Editor(s)

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