SU-E-I-77: A Noise Reduction Technique for Energy-Resolved Photon-Counting Detectors




Finding the optimal energy threshold setting for an energy-resolved photon-counting detector has an important impact on the maximization of contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR). We introduce a noise reduction method to enhance CNR by reducing the noise in each energy bin without altering the average gray levels in the projection and image domains.


We simulated a four bin energy-resolved photon-counting detector based on Si with a 10 mm depth of interaction. TASMIP algorithm was used to simulate a spectrum of 65 kVp with 2.7 mm Al filter. A 13 mm PMMA phantom with hydroxyapatite and iodine at different concentrations (100, 200 and 300 mg/ml for HA, and 2, 4, and 8 mg/ml for Iodine) was used. Projection-based and Image-based energy weighting methods were used to generate weighted images. A reference low noise image was used for noise reduction purposes. A Gaussian-like weighting function which computes the similarity between pixels of interest was calculated from the reference image and implemented on a pixel by pixel basis for the noisy images.


CNR improvement compared to different methods (Charge-Integrated, Photon-Counting and Energy-Weighting) and after noise reduction was highly task-dependent. The CNR improvement with respect to the Charge-Integrated CNR for hydroxyapatite and iodine were 1.8 and 1.5, respectively. In each of the energy bins, the noise was reduced by approximately factor of two without altering their respective average gray levels.


The proposed noise reduction technique for energy-resolved photon-counting detectors can significantly reduce image noise. This technique can be used as a compliment to the current energy-weighting methods in CNR optimization.