Sequential same-patient CT images may involve deformation-induced and non-deformation-induced voxel intensity changes. An adaptive deformation recovery and intensity correction (ADRIC) technique was developed to improve the CT reconstruction accuracy, and to separate deformation from non-deformation-induced voxel intensity changes between sequential CT images.Materials and methods
ADRIC views the new CT volume as a deformation of a prior high-quality CT volume, but with additional non-deformation-induced voxel intensity changes. ADRIC first applies the 2D-3D deformation technique to recover the deformation field between the prior CT volume and the new, to-be-reconstructed CT volume. Using the deformation-recovered new CT volume, ADRIC further corrects the non-deformation-induced voxel intensity changes with an updated algebraic reconstruction technique (“ART-dTV”). The resulting intensity-corrected new CT volume is subsequently fed back into the 2D-3D deformation process to further correct the residual deformation errors, which forms an iterative loop. By ADRIC, the deformation field and the non-deformation voxel intensity corrections are optimized separately and alternately to reconstruct the final CT.Materials and methods
CT myocardial perfusion imaging scenarios were employed to evaluate the efficacy of ADRIC, using both simulated data of the extended-cardiac-torso (XCAT) digital phantom and experimentally acquired porcine data. The reconstruction accuracy of the ADRIC technique was compared to the technique using ART-dTV alone, and to the technique using 2D-3D deformation alone. The relative error metric and the universal quality index metric are calculated between the images for quantitative analysis. The relative error is defined as the square root of the sum of squared voxel intensity differences between the reconstructed volume and the “ground-truth” volume, normalized by the square root of the sum of squared “ground-truth” voxel intensities. In addition to the XCAT and porcine studies, a physical lung phantom measurement study was also conducted. Water-filled balloons with various shapes/volumes and concentrations of iodinated contrasts were put inside the phantom to simulate both deformations and non-deformation-induced intensity changes for ADRIC reconstruction. The ADRIC-solved deformations and intensity changes from limited-view projections were compared to those of the “gold-standard” volumes reconstructed from fully sampled projections.Results
For the XCAT simulation study, the relative errors of the reconstructed CT volume by the 2D-3D deformation technique, the ART-dTV technique, and the ADRIC technique were 14.64%, 19.21%, and 11.90% respectively, by using 20 projections for reconstruction. Using 60 projections for reconstruction reduced the relative errors to 12.33%, 11.04%, and 7.92% for the three techniques, respectively. For the porcine study, the corresponding results were 13.61%, 8.78%, and 6.80% by using 20 projections; and 12.14%, 6.91%, and 5.29% by using 60 projections. The ADRIC technique also demonstrated robustness to varying projection exposure levels. For the physical phantom study, the average DICE coefficient between the initial prior balloon volume and the new “gold-standard” balloon volumes was 0.460. ADRIC reconstruction by 21 projections increased the average DICE coefficient to 0.954.Conclusion
The ADRIC technique outperformed both the 2D-3D deformation technique and the ART-dTV technique in reconstruction accuracy. The alternately solved deformation field and non-deformation voxel intensity corrections can benefit multiple clinical applications, including tumor tracking, radiotherapy dose accumulation, and treatment outcome analysis.