Impact of flat panel-imager veiling glare on scatter-estimation accuracy and image quality of a commercial on-board cone-beam CT imaging system

Dimitrios Lazos, Jeffrey F. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The purposes of this study is to measure the low frequency drop (LFD) of the modulation transfer function (MTF), associated with the long tails of the detector point spread function (PSF) of an on-board flat panel imager and study its impact on cone-beam CT (CBCT) image quality and scatter measurement accuracy. Methods: Two different experimental methods were used to characterize LFD and its associated PSF of a Varian OBI flat-panel detector system: the edge response function (ERF) method and the disk transfer function (DTF) method. PSF was estimated by fitting parametric models to these measurements for four values of the applied voltage (kVp). The resultant PSF was used to demonstrate the effect of LFD on image contrast and CT number accuracy in CBCT images reconstructed from synthetic datasets, as well as, accuracy of scatter measurements with the beam-stop method. Results: The MTFs derived from the measured ERF data revealed LFDs varying from 8 (at 60 kVp) to 10.5 (at 120 kVp), while the intensity of the long PSF tails was found to increase with increasing kVp. The veiling glare line spread functions derived from the ERF and DTF methods were in excellent agreement. Uncorrected veiling glare reduced contrast and the image intensity in CBCT reconstruction, near the phantom periphery (by 67 Hounsfield units in a 20 cm-in-diameter water phantom) and (to a smaller degree) near inhomogeneities. Use of the bow-tie filter mitigated these effects. Veiling glare also resulted in about 10-15 overestimation of the scatter-to-primary ratio when measured with the beam-stop or beam-stop array method. Conclusions: The long tails of the detector PSF were found to have a modest dependence of beam spectrum, which is reflected on the MTF curve LFD. Our findings show that uncorrected veiling glare can affect quantitative accuracy and contrast in CBCT imaging, based on flat panel imager. In addition, it results in overestimation of the scatter-to-primary ratio, measured with the beam-stop methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5639-5651
Number of pages13
JournalMedical physics
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • beam-stop method
  • cone-beam CT
  • flat-panel imager
  • low frequency drop
  • point spread function
  • veiling glare

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