TH-CD-202-02: A Preliminary Study Evaluating Beam-Hardening Artifact Reduction On CT Direct Electron-Density Images




A prototype reconstruction algorithm that can provide direct electron density (ED) images from single energy CT scans is being currently developed by Siemens Healthcare GmbH. This feature can eliminate the need for kV specific calibration curve for radiation treatemnt planning. An added benefit is that beam-hardening artifacts are also reduced on direct-ED images due to the underlying material decomposition. This study is to quantitatively analyze the reduction of beam-hardening artifacts on direct-ED images and suggest additional clinical usages.


HU and direct-ED images were reconstructed on a head phantom scanned on a Siemens Definition AS CT scanner at five tube potentials of 70kV, 80kV, 100kV, 120kV and 140kV respectively. From these images, mean, standard deviation (SD), and local NPS were calculated for regions of interest (ROI) of same locations and sizes. A complete analysis of beam-hardening artifact reduction and image quality improvement was conducted.


Along with the increase of tube potentials, ROI means and SDs decrease on both HU and direct-ED images. The mean value differences between HU and direct-ED images are up to 8% with absolute value of 2.9. Compared to that on HU images, the SDs are lower on direct-ED images, and the differences are up to 26%. Interestingly, the local NPS calculated from direct-ED images shows consistent values in the low spatial frequency domain for images acquired from all tube potential settings, while varied dramatically on HU images. This also confirms the beam -hardening artifact reduction on ED images.


The low SDs on direct-ED images and relative consistent NPS values in the low spatial frequency domain indicate a reduction of beam-hardening artifacts. The direct-ED image has the potential to assist in more accurate organ contouring, and is a better fit for the desired purpose of CT simulations for radiotherapy.