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Proceedings Paper

Simulation and analysis of image quality impact from single-source ultra-wide coverage CT scanner
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Paper Abstract

Future generations of CT systems would need a mean to cover an entire organ in a single rotation. A way to accomplish this is to physically increase detector size to provide, e.g., 120~160mm z (head-foot) coverage at iso. The x-ray cone angle of such a system is usually 3~4 times of that of a 64-slice (40mm) system, which leads to more severe cone beam artifacts in cardiac scans. In addition, the extreme x-ray take-off angles for such a system cause severe heel effect, which would require an increase in anode target angle to compensate for it. One shortcoming of larger target angle is that tube output likely decreases because of shorter thermal length. This would result in an increase of image noise. Our goal is to understand from a physics and math point of view, what is the clinical acceptable level of artifacts, resolution, and noise impact. The image artifacts are assessed through computer simulation of a helical body phantom and visual comparison of reconstructed images between a 140mm system and a 64-slice system. The IQ impact from target angle increase is studied analytically and experimentally by first finding the proper range of target angles that give the acceptable heel effect, then estimating the impact on peak power (flux) and z resolution using an empirical model of heel effect for given target angle and analytical models of z resolution and tube current loading factor for given target thermal length. The results show that, for a 140mm system, 24.5% of imaging volume exhibits more severe cone beam artifacts than a 64-slice system, which also brings up a patient dose concern. In addition, this system may suffer from a 36% peak power (flux) loss, which is equivalent to about 20% image noise increase. Therefore, a wide coverage CT system using a single x-ray source is likely to face some severe challenges in IQ and clinical accuracy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7258, Medical Imaging 2009: Physics of Medical Imaging, 72580A (10 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.805593
Show Author Affiliations
Baojun Li, General Electric Healthcare (United States)
Thomas L. Toth, General Electric Healthcare (United States)
Jiang Hsieh, General Electric Healthcare (United States)
Xiangyang Tang, General Electric Healthcare (United States)
Peter Crandall, General Electric Healthcare (United States)
Robert F. Senzig, General Electric Healthcare (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7258:
Medical Imaging 2009: Physics of Medical Imaging
Ehsan Samei; Jiang Hsieh, Editor(s)

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