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Med Phys. 2010 Oct;37(10):5456-70.

Monte Carlo evaluation of scatter mitigation strategies in cone-beam CT.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York 10003, USA. dlazos@chpnet.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the efficacy of two widely used scatter mitigation methods: antiscatter grids (ASGs) and beam modulating with bowtie filters (BTFs), in combination with subtractive scatter correction or zeroth order normalization phantom calibration, for improving image noise, contrast, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and image uniformity for on-board cone-beam CT (CBCT) imaging systems used for image-guided radiation therapy.

METHODS:

PTRAN Monte Carlo CBCT x-ray projections of head and pelvic phantoms were calculated for combinations of beam-modulation and scatter rejection methods and images were reconstructed by in-house developed software. In addition, a simple one-dimensional analytic model was developed to predict scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR) and CNR as a function of cylindrical phantom thickness, ASG transmission, and beam modulation with bow-tie filters.

RESULTS:

ASGs were found to have slightly negative or no effect on head phantom image CNR and to modestly improve CNR (10%-20%) in pelvic phantom images. However, scatter subtraction and norm-phantom calibration perform better when applied on data acquired with ASGs. Scatter subtraction improves CT number accuracy, but increases noise, and in high SPR/low primary-photon transmission scenarios can dramatically reduce CNR and introduce streaking artifacts. The BTF is found to reduce SPR and image noise, resulting in a better trade-off between CNR and imaging dose, but introduces a circular band artifact.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study shows that ASGs have a modest positive impact in pelvic scans and negative in head scans, scatter subtraction improves the HU accuracy but reduces CNR, while BTF has a clearly positive effect.

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