GPU-based Fast Low-dose Cone Beam CT Reconstruction via Total Variation

Xun Jia, Yifei Lou, John Lewis, Ruijiang Li, Xuejun Gu, Chunhua Men, William Y. Song, Steve B. Jiang
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037-0843
arXiv:1001.0599 [physics.med-ph] (4 Jan 2010)


   title={GPU-based Fast Low Dose Cone Beam CT Reconstruction via Total Variation},

   author={Jia, X. and Lou, Y. and Li, R. and Lewis, J. and Men, C. and Gu, X. and Song, W.Y. and Jiang, S.B.},

   journal={International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics},






   publisher={Elsevier Inc.}


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Cone-beam CT (CBCT) has been widely used in image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) to acquire updated volumetric anatomical information before treatment fractions for accurate patient alignment purpose. However, the excessive x-ray imaging dose from serial CBCT scans raises a clinical concern in most IGRT procedures. The excessive imaging dose can be effectively reduced by reducing the number of x-ray projections and/or lowering mAs levels in a CBCT scan. The goal of this work is to develop a fast GPU-based algorithm to reconstruct high quality CBCT images from undersampled and noisy projection data so as to lower the imaging dose. The CBCT is reconstructed by minimizing an energy functional consisting of a data fidelity term and a total variation regularization term. We developed a GPU-friendly version of the forward-backward splitting algorithm to solve this model. A multi-grid technique is also employed. We test our CBCT reconstruction algorithm on a digital NCAT phantom and a head-and-neck patient case. The performance under low mAs is also validated using a physical Catphan phantom and a head-and-neck Rando phantom. It is found that 40 x-ray projections are sufficient to reconstruct CBCT images with satisfactory quality for IGRT patient alignment purpose. Phantom experiments indicated that CBCT images can be successfully reconstructed with our algorithm under as low as 0.1 mAs/projection level. Comparing with currently widely used full-fan head-and-neck scanning protocol of about 360 projections with 0.4 mAs/projection, it is estimated that an overall 36 times dose reduction has been achieved with our algorithm. Moreover, the reconstruction time is about 130 sec on an NVIDIA Tesla C1060 GPU card, which is estimated ~100 times faster than similar iterative reconstruction approaches.
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