Machine Learning-based Techniques to Address Spectral Distortions in Photon Counting X-ray Computed Tomography
Spectral CT using a photon counting x-ray detector (PCXD) shows great potential for measuring material composition based on energy dependent x-ray attenuation. Spectral CT is especially suited for imaging with K-edge contrast agents to address the otherwise limited contrast in soft tissues. We have developed a micro-CT system based on a PCXD. This system enables full spectrum CT in which the energy thresholds of the PCXD are swept to sample the full energy spectrum for each detector element and projection angle. Measurements provided by the PCXD, however, are distorted due to undesirable physical eects in the detector and are very noisy due to photon starvation. In this work, we proposed two methods based on machine learning to address the spectral distortion issue and to improve the material decomposition. This rst approach is to model distortions using an articial neural network (ANN) and compensate for the distortion in a statistical reconstruction. The second approach is to directly correct for the distortion in the projections. Both technique can be done as a calibration process where the neural network can be trained using 3D printed phantoms data to learn the distortion model or the correction model of the spectral distortion. This replaces the need for synchrotron measurements required in conventional technique to derive the distortion model parametrically which could be costly and time consuming. The results demonstrate experimental feasibility and potential advantages of ANN-based distortion modeling and correction for more accurate K-edge imaging with a PCXD. Given the computational eciency with which the ANN can be applied to projection data, the proposed scheme can be readily integrated into existing CT reconstruction pipelines.
artificial neural network
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