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Med Phys. 2014 Jun;41(6):061909. doi: 10.1118/1.4875688.

Noise, sampling, and the number of projections in cone-beam CT with a flat-panel detector.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205 and Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China 300072.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205 and Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M9, Canada.
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205; Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 2M9, Canada; Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205; and Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the effect of the number of projection views on image noise in cone-beam CT (CBCT) with a flat-panel detector.

METHODS:

This fairly fundamental consideration in CBCT system design and operation was addressed experimentally (using a phantom presenting a uniform medium as well as statistically motivated "clutter") and theoretically (using a cascaded systems model describing CBCT noise) to elucidate the contributing factors of quantum noise (σ(Q)), electronic noise (σ(E)), and view aliasing (σ(view)). Analysis included investigation of the noise, noise-power spectrum, and modulation transfer function as a function of the number of projections (N(proj)), dose (D(tot)), and voxel size (b(vox)).

RESULTS:

The results reveal a nonmonotonic relationship between image noise and N(proj) at fixed total dose: for the CBCT system considered, noise decreased with increasing N(proj) due to reduction of view sampling effects in the regime N(proj) <~200, above which noise increased with N(proj) due to increased electronic noise. View sampling effects were shown to depend on the heterogeneity of the object in a direct analytical relationship to power-law anatomical clutter of the form κ/f(β)--and a general model of individual noise components (σ(Q), σ(E), and σ(view)) demonstrated agreement with measurements over a broad range in N(proj), D(tot), and b(vox).

CONCLUSIONS:

The work elucidates fairly basic elements of CBCT noise in a manner that demonstrates the role of distinct noise components (viz., quantum, electronic, and view sampling noise). For configurations fairly typical of CBCT with a flat-panel detector (FPD), the analysis reveals a "sweet spot" (i.e., minimum noise) in the range N(proj) ~ 250-350, nearly an order of magnitude lower in N(proj) than typical of multidetector CT, owing to the relatively high electronic noise in FPDs. The analysis explicitly relates view aliasing and quantum noise in a manner that includes aspects of the object ("clutter") and imaging chain (including nonidealities of detector blur and electronic noise) to provide a more rigorous basis for commonly held intuition and heurism in CBCT system design and operation.

PMID:
24877820
PMCID:
PMC4032401
DOI:
10.1118/1.4875688
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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