Methods of image acquisition and calibration for x-ray computed tomography
Sammanfattning: X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a common medical imaging device for acquiring high-resolution 3D images of the interior of the human body. The images are formed by mathematical reconstruction from hundreds of planar x-ray images that have been acquired during less then a second.Photon-counting spectral detectors are seen by many as the next big step in the development of medical CT. The potential benefits include: quantitative CT, ultra-low dose imaging and optimal contrast-to-noise performance. The current aim for the research pursued by the Physics of Medical Imaging Group at KTH is to develop, and commercialize, a photon-counting spectral detector using silicon wafers in edge-on geometry. With the introduction of a new detector comes many challenges, some of which this Thesis aims to address.Efficient calibration schemes will be an essential part of the realization of photon-counting spectral detectors in clinical CT. In the first part of the Thesis, three calibration methods are presented: two methods for calibration of the energy thresholds on multi-bin spectral detectors and one method for geometric calibration of edge-on detectors that are mounted in a CT gantry.The CT image acquisition produces large amounts of data that have to be transported out of the system, preferably in real-time. Already today, fewer samples are acquired when operating at very high rotation speeds due to bandwidth limitations. For photon-counting spectral detectors, the amount of data will be even larger due to the additional energy information and the generally smaller pixels, and it is therefore desirable to minimize the number of angular samples acquired per revolution. In the second part of the Thesis, two methods for relaxing the angular sampling requirement are presented. The first method uses the built-in redundancy of multi-layer detectors to increase the angular sampling rate via a temporal offset between the detector layers. The second method uses decimation in the view (angular) direction as a means for compression of CT sinogram data. The compression can be performed on the CT gantry and thus lower the required bandwidth of the data transfer.Although the overall aim of this work has been to develop methods that facilitate the introduction of photon-counting spectral detectors for medical CT, the presented methods are also applicable in the broader context of calibration of x-ray detectors and CT image acquisition.
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