Characterization of CT Hounsfield Units for 3D acquisition trajectories on a dedicated breast CT system.
Hounsfield Units (HU) are used clinically in differentiating tissue types in a reconstructed CT image, and therefore the HU accuracy of a system is important, especially when using multiple sources, novel detector and non-traditional trajectories. Dedicated clinical breast CT (BCT) systems therefore should be similarly evaluated. In this study, uniform cylindrical phantoms filled with various uniform density fluids were used to characterize differences in HU values between simple circular and complex 3D (saddle) orbits. Based on ACR recommendations, the HU accuracy, center-to-edge variability within a slice, and overall variability within the reconstructed volume were characterized for simple and complex acquisitions possible on a single versatile BCT system. Results illustrate the statistically significantly better performance of the saddle orbit, especially close to the chest and nipple regions of what would clinically be a pendant breast volume. The incomplete cone beam acquisition of a simple circular orbit causes shading artifacts near the nipple, due to insufficient sampling, rendering a major portion of the scanned phantom unusable, whereas the saddle orbit performs exceptionally well and provides a tighter distribution of HU values throughout the reconstructed volumes. This study further establishes the advantages of using 3D acquisition trajectories for breast CT as well as other applications by demonstrating the robustness of HU values throughout large reconstructed volumes.
Shah, JP; Mann, SD; McKinley, RL; Tornai, MP
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