Article: article from journal or magazin.
Update on the non-prewhitening model observer in computed tomography for the assessment of the adaptive statistical and model-based iterative reconstruction algorithms.
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Publication types: Journal Article ; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Publication Status: ppublish
The state of the art to describe image quality in medical imaging is to assess the performance of an observer conducting a task of clinical interest. This can be done by using a model observer leading to a figure of merit such as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Using the non-prewhitening (NPW) model observer, we objectively characterised the evolution of its figure of merit in various acquisition conditions. The NPW model observer usually requires the use of the modulation transfer function (MTF) as well as noise power spectra. However, although the computation of the MTF poses no problem when dealing with the traditional filtered back-projection (FBP) algorithm, this is not the case when using iterative reconstruction (IR) algorithms, such as adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction (ASIR) or model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR). Given that the target transfer function (TTF) had already shown it could accurately express the system resolution even with non-linear algorithms, we decided to tune the NPW model observer, replacing the standard MTF by the TTF. It was estimated using a custom-made phantom containing cylindrical inserts surrounded by water. The contrast differences between the inserts and water were plotted for each acquisition condition. Then, mathematical transformations were performed leading to the TTF. As expected, the first results showed a dependency of the image contrast and noise levels on the TTF for both ASIR and MBIR. Moreover, FBP also proved to be dependent of the contrast and noise when using the lung kernel. Those results were then introduced in the NPW model observer. We observed an enhancement of SNR every time we switched from FBP to ASIR to MBIR. IR algorithms greatly improve image quality, especially in low-dose conditions. Based on our results, the use of MBIR could lead to further dose reduction in several clinical applications.
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