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Phys Med Biol. 2014 Oct 7;59(19):5691-706. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/59/19/5691. Epub 2014 Sep 8.

Experimental validation of a single shaped filter approach for CT using variable source-to-filter distance for examination of arbitrary object diameters.

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Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany. CT Imaging GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.


The purpose of this study was to validate the use of a single shaped filter (SF) for computed tomography (CT) using variable source-to-filter distance (SFD) for the examination of different object diameters.A SF was designed by performing simulations with the purpose of achieving noise homogeneity in the reconstructed volume and dose reduction for arbitrary phantom diameters. This was accomplished by using a filter design method thats target is to achieve a homogeneous detector noise, but also uses a correction factor for the filtered back projection process. According to simulation results, a single SF designed for one of the largest phantom diameters meets the requirements for all diameters when SFD can be adjusted. To validate these results, a SF made of aluminium alloy was manufactured. Measurements were performed on a CT scanner with polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantoms of diameters from 40-100 mm. The filter was positioned at SFDs ranging from 97-168 mm depending on the phantom diameter. Image quality was evaluated for the reconstructed volume by assessing CT value accuracy, noise homogeneity, contrast-to-noise ratio weighted by dose (CNRD) and spatial resolution. Furthermore, scatter distribution was determined with the use of a beam-stop phantom. Dose was measured for a PMMA phantom with a diameter of 100 mm using a calibrated ionization chamber.The application of a single SF at variable SFD led to improved noise uniformity and dose reduction: noise homogeneity was improved from 15% down to about 0%, and dose was reduced by about 37%. Furthermore, scatter dropped by about 32%, which led to reduced cupping artifacts and improved CT value accuracy. Spatial resolution and CNRD was not affected by the SF.By means of a single SF with variable SFD designed for CT, significant dose reduction can be achieved and image quality can be improved by reducing noise inhomogeneity as well as scatter-induced artifacts.

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