A comparison of sampling strategies for dual energy micro-CT
Micro-CT has become a powerful tool for small animal research. Many micro-CT applications require exogenous contrast agents, which are most commonly based on iodine. Despite advancements in contrast agents, single-energy micro-CT is sometimes limited in the separation of two different materials that share similar grayscale intensity values as in the case of bone and iodine. Dual energy micro-CT offers a solution to this separation problem, while eliminating the need for pre-injection scanning. Various dual energy micro-CT sampling strategies are possible, including 1) single source sequential scanning, 2) simultaneous dual source acquisition, or 3) single source with kVp switching. But, no commercial micro-CT system exists in which all these sampling strategies have been implemented. This study reports on the implementation and comparison of these scanning techniques on the same small animal imaging system. Furthermore, we propose a new sampling strategy that combines dual source and kVp switching. Post-sampling and reconstruction, a simple two-material dual energy decomposition was applied to differentiate iodine from bone. The results indicate the time differences and the potential problems associated with each sampling strategy. Dual source scanning allows for the fastest acquisition, but is prone to errors in decomposition associated with scattering and imperfect geometric alignment of the two imaging chains. KVp switching prevents these types of artifacts, but requires more time for sampling. The novel combination between the dual source and kVp switching has the potential to reduce sampling time and provide better decomposition performance. © 2012 Copyright Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Guo, X; Johnston, SM; Johnson, GA; Badea, CT
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International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)
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