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Phys Med Biol. 2009 Oct 21;54(20):6123-33. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/20/006. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Comparison of diffraction-enhanced computed tomography and monochromatic synchrotron radiation computed tomography of human trabecular bone.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Research Imaging Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 4030 Bondurant Hall, CB 7000, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Diffraction-enhanced imaging (DEI) is an x-ray-based medical imaging modality that, when used in tomography mode (DECT), can generate a three-dimensional map of both the apparent absorption coefficient and the out-of-plane gradient of the index of refraction of the sample. DECT is known to have contrast gains over monochromatic synchrotron radiation CT (SRCT) for soft tissue structures. The goal of this experiment was to compare contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and resolution in images of human trabecular bone acquired using SRCT with images acquired using DECT. All images were acquired at the National Synchrotron Light Source (Upton, NY, USA) at beamline X15 A at an x-ray energy of 40 keV and the silicon [3 3 3] reflection. SRCT, apparent absorption DECT and refraction DECT slice images of the trabecular bone were created. The apparent absorption DECT images have significantly higher spatial resolution and CNR than the corresponding SRCT images. Thus, DECT will prove to be a useful tool for imaging applications in which high contrast and high spatial resolution are required for both soft tissue features and bone.

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