DPIRPLE: A joint estimation framework for deformable registration and penalized-likelihood CT image reconstruction using prior images

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Sequential imaging studies are conducted in many clinical scenarios. Prior images from previous studies contain a great deal of patient-specific anatomical information and can be used in conjunction with subsequent imaging acquisitions to maintain image quality while enabling radiation dose reduction (e.g., through sparse angular sampling, reduction in fluence, etc). However, patient motion between images in such sequences results in misregistration between the prior image and current anatomy. Existing prior-image-based approaches often include only a simple rigid registration step that can be insufficient for capturing complex anatomical motion, introducing detrimental effects in subsequent image reconstruction. In this work, we propose a joint framework that estimates the 3D deformation between an unregistered prior image and the current anatomy (based on a subsequent data acquisition) and reconstructs the current anatomical image using a model-based reconstruction approach that includes regularization based on the deformed prior image. This framework is referred to as deformable prior image registration, penalized-likelihood estimation (dPIRPLE). Central to this framework is the inclusion of a 3D B-spline-based free-form-deformation model into the joint registration- reconstruction objective function. The proposed framework is solved using a maximization strategy whereby alternating updates to the registration parameters and image estimates are applied allowing for improvements in both the registration and reconstruction throughout the optimization process. Cadaver experiments were conducted on a cone-beam CT testbench emulating a lung nodule surveillance scenario. Superior reconstruction accuracy and image quality were demonstrated using the dPIRPLE algorithm as compared to more traditional reconstruction methods including filtered backprojection, penalized-likelihood estimation (PLE), prior image penalized-likelihood estimation (PIPLE) without registration, and prior image penalized-likelihood estimation with rigid registration of a prior image (PIRPLE) over a wide range of sampling sparsity and exposure levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4799-4826
Number of pages28
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 7 2014


  • computed tomography
  • deformable registration
  • penalized-likelihood reconstruction
  • prior-image-based reconstruction
  • regularization design
  • sparse data acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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