Statistical iterative reconstruction (SIR) algorithms have shown potential to substantially improve low-dose cone-beam CT (CBCT) image quality. The penalty term plays an important role in determining the performance of SIR algorithms. In this work, we quantitatively evaluate the impact of the penalties on the performance of a statistics-based penalized weighted least-squares (PWLS) iterative reconstruction algorithm for improving the image quality of low-dose CBCT. Three different edge-preserving penalty terms, exponential form anisotropic quadratic (AQ) penalty (PWLS-Exp), inverse square form AQ penalty (PWLS-InverseSqr) and total variation penalty (PWLS-TV), were compared against the conventional isotropic quadratic form penalty (PWLS-Iso) using both computer simulation and experimental studies. Noise in low-dose CBCT can be substantially suppressed by the PWLS reconstruction algorithm and edges are well preserved by both AQ- and TV-based penalty terms. The noise-resolution tradeoff measurement shows that the PWLS-Exp exhibits the best spatial resolution of all the three anisotropic penalty terms at matched noise level for reconstructing high-contrast objects. For the reconstruction of low-contrast objects, the TV-based penalty outperforms the AQ-based one with better resolution preservation at matched noise levels. Different penalty terms may be used for better edge preservation at different targeted contrast levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging