Purpose: To assess the imaging performance and radiation dose characteristics of the O-arm CBCT imaging system (Medtronic Inc., Littleton MA) and demonstrate the potential for improved image quality and reduced dose via model-based image reconstruction (MBIR). Methods: Two main studies were performed to investigate previously unreported characteristics of the O-arm system. First is an investigation of dose and 3D image quality achieved with filtered back-projection (FBP) — including enhancements in geometric calibration, handling of lateral truncation and detector saturation, and incorporation of an isotropic apodization filter. Second is implementation of an MBIR algorithm based on Huber-penalized likelihood estimation (PLH) and investigation of image quality improvement at reduced dose. Each study involved measurements in quantitative phantoms as a basis for analysis of contrast-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution as well as imaging of a human cadaver to test the findings under realistic imaging conditions. Results: View-dependent calibration of system geometry improved the accuracy of reconstruction as quantified by the full-width at half maximum of the point-spread function — from 0.80 to 0.65 mm — and yielded subtle but perceptible improvement in high-contrast detail of bone (e.g., temporal bone). Standard technique protocols for the head and body imparted absorbed dose of 16 and 18 mGy, respectively. For low-to-medium contrast (<100 HU) imaging at fixed spatial resolution (1.3 mm edge-spread function) and fixed dose (6.7 mGy), PLH improved CNR over FBP by +48% in the head and +35% in the body. Evaluation at different dose levels demonstrated 30% increase in CNR at 62% of the dose in the head and 90% increase in CNR at 50% dose in the body. Conclusions: A variety of improvements in FBP implementation (geometric calibration, truncation and saturation effects, and isotropic apodization) offer the potential for improved image quality and reduced radiation dose on the O-arm system. Further gains are possible with MBIR, including improved soft-tissue visualization, low-dose imaging protocols, and extension to methods that naturally incorporate prior information of patient anatomy and/or surgical instrumentation.
- cone-beam CT
- image-guided surgery
- model-based image reconstruction
- radiation dose
- surgical navigation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging