FBP and BPF reconstruction methods for circular X-ray tomography with off-center detector
Purpose: Circular scanning with an off-center planar detector is an acquisition scheme that allows to save detector area while keeping a large field of view (FOV). Several filtered back-projection (FBP) algorithms have been proposed earlier. The purpose of this work is to present two newly developed back-projection filtration (BPF) variants and evaluate the image quality of these methods compared to the existing state-of-the-art FBP methods.Methods: The first new BPF algorithm applies redundancy weighting of overlapping opposite projections before differentiation in a single projection. The second one uses the Katsevich-type differentiation involving two neighboring projections followed by redundancy weighting and back-projection. An averaging scheme is presented to mitigate streak artifacts inherent to circular BPF algorithms along the Hilbert filter lines in the off-center transaxial slices of the reconstructions. The image quality is assessed visually on reconstructed slices of simulated and clinical data. Quantitative evaluation studies are performed with the Forbild head phantom by calculating root-mean-squared-deviations (RMSDs) to the voxelized phantom for different detector overlap settings and by investigating the noise resolution trade-off with a wire phantom in the full detector and off-center scenario.Results: The noise-resolution behavior of all off-center reconstruction methods corresponds to their full detector performance with the best resolution for the FDK based methods with the given imaging geometry. With respect to RMSD and visual inspection, the proposed BPF with Katsevich-type differentiation outperforms all other methods for the smallest chosen detector overlap of about 15 mm. The best FBP method is the algorithm that is also based on the Katsevich-type differentiation and subsequent redundancy weighting. For wider overlap of about 40–50 mm, these two algorithms produce similar results outperforming the other three methods. The clinical case with a detector overlap of about 17 mm confirms these results.Conclusions: The BPF-type reconstructions with Katsevich differentiation are widely independent of the size of the detector overlap and give the best results with respect to RMSD and visual inspection for minimal detector overlap. The increased homogeneity will improve correct assessment of lesions in the entire field of view.