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IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 2008 Dec;27(12):1791-810. doi: 10.1109/TMI.2008.928922.

Algorithm for X-ray scatter, beam-hardening, and beam profile correction in diagnostic (kilovoltage) and treatment (megavoltage) cone beam CT.

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Oncology Care Systems Group, Siemens Medical Solutions (USA), Inc., Concord, CA 94520, USA.


Quantitative reconstruction of cone beam X-ray computed tomography (CT) datasets requires accurate modeling of scatter, beam-hardening, beam profile, and detector response. Typically, commercial imaging systems use fast empirical corrections that are designed to reduce visible artifacts due to incomplete modeling of the image formation process. In contrast, Monte Carlo (MC) methods are much more accurate but are relatively slow. Scatter kernel superposition (SKS) methods offer a balance between accuracy and computational practicality. We show how a single SKS algorithm can be employed to correct both kilovoltage (kV) energy (diagnostic) and megavoltage (MV) energy (treatment) X-ray images. Using MC models of kV and MV imaging systems, we map intensities recorded on an amorphous silicon flat panel detector to water-equivalent thicknesses (WETs). Scattergrams are derived from acquired projection images using scatter kernels indexed by the local WET values and are then iteratively refined using a scatter magnitude bounding scheme that allows the algorithm to accommodate the very high scatter-to-primary ratios encountered in kV imaging. The algorithm recovers radiological thicknesses to within 9% of the true value at both kV and megavolt energies. Nonuniformity in CT reconstructions of homogeneous phantoms is reduced by an average of 76% over a wide range of beam energies and phantom geometries.

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