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BioMedical Engineering OnLine

, 10:72

First Online: 17 August 2011Received: 04 May 2011Accepted: 17 August 2011


BackgroundRing artifacts are the concentric rings superimposed on the tomographic images often caused by the defective and insufficient calibrated detector elements as well as by the damaged scintillator crystals of the flat panel detector. It may be also generated by objects attenuating X-rays very differently in different projection direction. Ring artifact reduction techniques so far reported in the literature can be broadly classified into two groups. One category of the approaches is based on the sinogram processing also known as the pre-processing techniques and the other category of techniques perform processing on the 2-D reconstructed images, recognized as the post-processing techniques in the literature. The strength and weakness of these categories of approaches are yet to be explored from a common platform.

MethodIn this paper, a comparative study of the two categories of ring artifact reduction techniques basically designed for the multi-slice CT instruments is presented from a common platform. For comparison, two representative algorithms from each of the two categories are selected from the published literature. A very recently reported state-of-the-art sinogram domain ring artifact correction method that classifies the ring artifacts according to their strength and then corrects the artifacts using class adaptive correction schemes is also included in this comparative study. The first sinogram domain correction method uses a wavelet based technique to detect the corrupted pixels and then using a simple linear interpolation technique estimates the responses of the bad pixels. The second sinogram based correction method performs all the filtering operations in the transform domain, i.e., in the wavelet and Fourier domain. On the other hand, the two post-processing based correction techniques actually operate on the polar transform domain of the reconstructed CT images. The first method extracts the ring artifact template vector using a homogeneity test and then corrects the CT images by subtracting the artifact template vector from the uncorrected images. The second post-processing based correction technique performs median and mean filtering on the reconstructed images to produce the corrected images.

ResultsThe performances of the comparing algorithms have been tested by using both quantitative and perceptual measures. For quantitative analysis, two different numerical performance indices are chosen. On the other hand, different types of artifact patterns, e.g., single-band ring, artifacts from defective and mis-calibrated detector elements, rings in highly structural object and also in hard object, rings from different flat-panel detectors are analyzed to perceptually investigate the strength and weakness of the five methods. An investigation has been also carried out to compare the efficacy of these algorithms in correcting the volume images from a cone beam CT with the parameters determined from one particular slice. Finally, the capability of each correction technique in retaining the image information e.g., small object at the iso-center accurately in the corrected CT image has been also tested.

ConclusionsThe results show that the performances of the algorithms are limited and none is fully suitable for correcting different types of ring artifacts without introducing processing distortion to the image structure. To achieve the diagnostic quality of the corrected slices a combination of the two approaches sinogram- and post-processing can be used. Also the comparing methods are not suitable for correcting the volume images from a cone beam flat-panel detector based CT.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1475-925X-10-72 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Emran M Abu Anas - Jae G Kim - Soo Y Lee - Md K Hasan



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