TU-F-18A-02: Iterative Image-Domain Decomposition for Dual-Energy CT




Dual energy CT (DECT) imaging plays an important role in advanced imaging applications due to its material decomposition capability. Direct decomposition via matrix inversion suffers from significant degradation of image signal-to-noise ratios, which reduces clinical value. Existing de-noising algorithms achieve suboptimal performance since they suppress image noise either before or after the decomposition and do not fully explore the noise statistical properties of the decomposition process. We propose an iterative image-domain decomposition method for noise suppression in DECT, using the full variance-covariance matrix of the decomposed images.


The proposed algorithm is formulated in the form of least-square estimation with smoothness regularization. It includes the inverse of the estimated variance-covariance matrix of the decomposed images as the penalty weight in the least-square term. Performance is evaluated using an evaluation phantom (Catphan 600) and an anthropomorphic head phantom. Results are compared to those generated using direct matrix inversion with no noise suppression, a de-noising method applied on the decomposed images, and an existing algorithm with similar formulation but with an edge-preserving regularization term.


On the Catphan phantom, our method retains the same spatial resolution as the CT images before decomposition while reducing the noise standard deviation of decomposed images by over 98%. The other methods either degrade spatial resolution or achieve less low-contrast detectability. Also, our method yields lower electron density measurement error than direct matrix inversion and reduces error variation by over 97%. On the head phantom, it reduces the noise standard deviation of decomposed images by over 97% without blurring the sinus structures.


We propose an iterative image-domain decomposition method for DECT. The method combines noise suppression and material decomposition into an iterative process and achieves both goals simultaneously. The proposed algorithm shows superior performance on noise suppression with high image spatial resolution and low-contrast detectability.

This work is supported by a Varian MRA grant.