This study aims to propose a physics-based method of reducing beam-hardening artifacts induced by high-attenuation materials such as metal stents or other metallic implants.Methods
The proposed approach consists of deriving a sinogram inconsistency formula representing the energy dependence of the attenuation coefficient of high-attenuation materials. This inconsistency formula more accurately represents the inconsistencies of the sinogram than that of a previously reported formula6 (called the MAC-BC method). This is achieved by considering the properties of the high-attenuation materials, which include the materials' shapes and locations and their effects on the incident X-ray spectrum, including their attenuation coefficients.Results
Numerical simulation and phantom experiment demonstrate that the modeling error of MAC-BC method are nearly completely removed by means of the proposed method.Conclusion
The proposed method reduces beam-hardening artifacts arising from high-attenuation materials by relaxing the assumptions of the MAC-BC method. In doing so, it outperforms the original MAC-BC method. Further research is required to address other potential sources of metal artifacts, such as photon starvation, scattering, and noise.