A biological phantom for evaluation of CT image reconstruction algorithms

J. Cammin, G. S.K. Fung, E. K. Fishman, J. H. Siewerdsen, J. W. Stayman, K. Taguchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In recent years, iterative algorithms have become popular in diagnostic CT imaging to reduce noise or radiation dose to the patient. The non-linear nature of these algorithms leads to non-linearities in the imaging chain. However, the methods to assess the performance of CT imaging systems were developed assuming the linear process of filtered backprojection (FBP). Those methods may not be suitable any longer when applied to non-linear systems. In order to evaluate the imaging performance, a phantom is typically scanned and the image quality is measured using various indices. For reasons of practicality, cost, and durability, those phantoms often consist of simple water containers with uniform cylinder inserts. However, these phantoms do not represent the rich structure and patterns of real tissue accurately. As a result, the measured image quality or detectability performance for lesions may not reflect the performance on clinical images. The discrepancy between estimated and real performance may be even larger for iterative methods which sometimes produce aplastic-likea, patchy images with homogeneous patterns. Consequently, more realistic phantoms should be used to assess the performance of iterative algorithms. We designed and constructed a biological phantom consisting of porcine organs and tissue that models a human abdomen, including liver lesions. We scanned the phantom on a clinical CT scanner and compared basic image quality indices between filtered backprojection and an iterative reconstruction algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2014
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
ISBN (Print)9780819498267
StatePublished - 2014
EventMedical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 17 2014Feb 20 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2014: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • biological phantom
  • computed tomography
  • edge sharpness
  • filtered backprojection
  • image quality
  • iterative reconstruction
  • liver lesions
  • noise power spectrum


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