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Suppression of the CT Beam Hardening Streak Artifact Using Predictive Correction on Detector Data

2016-03, Stowe, John G., Curran, Kathleen M.

The purpose of the research was to develop an automated program incorporating a predictive artifact correction technique (PACT) to correct for the signal deviations from metal beam hardening artifacts in Computed Tomography (CT) detector raw data. Thin-slice sequential CT scans were performed on a dosimetry head phantom using a Somatom Sensation 16 scanner to establish a ground truth image. Metal pins were then affixed to either side of the phantom at the three and nine o'clock positions to cause streak artifact in detector raw data and a subsequent streak image. The program automatically detected the extent of the overlap peaks in the detector raw data causing the artifact. It profiled a correction using adjacent projections so that the peak error could be corrected rather than simply being removed or smoothed by interpolation. The PACT algorithm modified raw data was then reconstructed on a SYNGO CT reconstruction workstation. This image was then compared against ground truth and that produced by commercially available metal artifact reduction projection completion and also a research based iterative technique. Qualitative results illustrate superior suppression of streak artifact in images using PACT when compared directly to tested projection completion methods but inferior to iterative reconstruction. Recovery of voxel data underlying the streak is also demonstrated to be quantitatively superior with PACT when referenced to the original ground truth image. Limitations were however detected with the threshold technique for initial localisation of the streak sources. The work still demonstrates the feasibility of this predictive artifact correction technique in correcting beam hardening affected voxel data without recourse to expensive additional options such as iterative reconstruction or dual energy that are not so commonly available in the clinical setting.