TH-EF-207A-05: Feasibility of Applying SMEIR Method On Small Animal 4D Cone Beam CT Imaging




Small animal cone beam CT imaging has been widely used in preclinical research. Due to the higher respiratory rate and heat beats of small animals, motion blurring is inevitable and needs to be corrected in the reconstruction. Simultaneous motion estimation and image reconstruction (SMEIR) method, which uses projection images of all phases, proved to be effective in motion model estimation and able to reconstruct motion-compensated images. We demonstrate the application of SMEIR for small animal 4D cone beam CT imaging by computer simulations on a digital rat model.


The small animal CBCT imaging system was simulated with the source-to-detector distance of 300 mm and the source-to-object distance of 200 mm. A sequence of rat phantom were generated with 0.4 mm3 voxel size. The respiratory cycle was taken as 1.0 second and the motions were simulated with a diaphragm motion of 2.4mm and an anterior-posterior expansion of 1.6 mm. The projection images were calculated using a ray-tracing method, and 4D-CBCT were reconstructed using SMEIR and FDK methods. The SMEIR method iterates over two alternating steps: 1) motion-compensated iterative image reconstruction by using projections from all respiration phases and 2) motion model estimation from projections directly through a 2D-3D deformable registration of the image obtained in the first step to projection images of other phases.


The images reconstructed using SMEIR method reproduced the features in the original phantom. Projections from the same phase were also reconstructed using FDK method. Compared with the FDK results, the images from SMEIR method substantially improve the image quality with minimum artifacts.


We demonstrate that it is viable to apply SMEIR method to reconstruct small animal 4D-CBCT images.