WE-FG-207B-04: Noise Suppression for Energy-Resolved CT Via Variance Weighted Non-Local Filtration

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

The photon starvation problem is exacerbated in energy-resolved CT, since the detected photons are shared by multiple energy channels. Using pixel similarity-based non-local filtration, we aim to produce accurate and high-resolution energy-resolved CT images with significantly reduced noise.

Methods:

Averaging CT images reconstructed from different energy channels reduces noise at the price of losing spectral information, while conventional denoising techniques inevitably degrade image resolution. Inspired by the fact that CT images of the same object at different energies share the same structures, we aim to reduce noise of energy-resolved CT by averaging only pixels of similar materials - a non-local filtration technique. For each CT image, an empirical exponential model is used to calculate the material similarity between two pixels based on their CT values and the similarity values are organized in a matrix form. A final similarity matrix is generated by averaging these similarity matrices, with weights inversely proportional to the estimated total noise variance in the sinogram of different energy channels. Noise suppression is achieved for each energy channel via multiplying the image vector by the similarity matrix.

Results:

Multiple scans on a tabletop CT system are used to simulate 6-channel energy-resolved CT, with energies ranging from 75 to 125 kVp. On a low-dose acquisition at 15 mA of the Catphan©600 phantom, our method achieves the same image spatial resolution as a high-dose scan at 80 mA with a noise standard deviation (STD) lower by a factor of >2. Compared with another non-local noise suppression algorithm (ndiNLM), the proposed algorithms obtains images with substantially improved resolution at the same level of noise reduction.

Conclusion:

We propose a noise-suppression method for energy-resolved CT. Our method takes full advantage of the additional structural information provided by energy-resolved CT and preserves image values at each energy level.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute Of Biomedical Imaging And Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R21EB019597. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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