TH-A-18C-09: Ultra-Fast Monte Carlo Simulation for Cone Beam CT Imaging of Brain Trauma

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

Application of cone-beam CT (CBCT) to low-contrast soft tissue imaging, such as in detection of traumatic brain injury, is challenged by high levels of scatter. A fast, accurate scatter correction method based on Monte Carlo (MC) estimation is developed for application in high-quality CBCT imaging of acute brain injury.

Methods:

The correction involves MC scatter estimation executed on an NVIDIA GTX 780 GPU (MC-GPU), with baseline simulation speed of ˜1e7 photons/sec. MC-GPU is accelerated by a novel, GPU-optimized implementation of variance reduction (VR) techniques (forced detection and photon splitting). The number of simulated tracks and projections is reduced for additional speed-up. Residual noise is removed and the missing scatter projections are estimated via kernel smoothing (KS) in projection plane and across gantry angles. The method is assessed using CBCT images of a head phantom presenting a realistic simulation of fresh intracranial hemorrhage (100 kVp, 180 mAs, 720 projections, source-detector distance 700 mm, source-axis distance 480 mm).

Results:

For a fixed run-time of ˜1 sec/projection, GPU-optimized VR reduces the noise in MC-GPU scatter estimates by a factor of 4. For scatter correction, MC-GPU with VR is executed with 4-fold angular downsampling and 1e5 photons/projection, yielding 3.5 minute run-time per scan, and de-noised with optimized KS. Corrected CBCT images demonstrate uniformity improvement of 18 HU and contrast improvement of 26 HU compared to no correction, and a 52% increase in contrast-tonoise ratio in simulated hemorrhage compared to “oracle” constant fraction correction.

Conclusion:

Acceleration of MC-GPU achieved through GPU-optimized variance reduction and kernel smoothing yields an efficient (<5 min/scan) and accurate scatter correction that does not rely on additional hardware or simplifying assumptions about the scatter distribution. The method is undergoing implementation in a novel CBCT dedicated to brain trauma imaging at the point of care in sports and military applications.

Research grant from Carestream Health. JY is an employee of Carestream Health.

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