Slot-scan dual-energy measurement of bone mineral density on a robotic X-ray system

C. Zhao, C. Luckner, M. Herbst, S. Vogt, L. Ritschl, S. Kappler, J. H. Siewerdsen, W. Zbijewski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: We investigate the feasibility of slot-scan dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) on robotic x-ray platforms capable of synchronized source and detector translation. This novel approach will enhance the capabilities of such platforms to include quantitative assessment of bone quality using areal bone mineral density (aBMD), normally obtained only with a dedicated DXA scanner. Methods: We performed simulation studies of a robotized x-ray platform that enables fast linear translation of the x-ray source and flat-panel detector (FPD) to execute slot-scan dual-energy (DE) imaging of the entire spine. Two consecutive translations are performed to acquire the low-energy (LE, 80 kVp) and high-energy (HE, 120 kVp) data in <15 sec total time. The slot views are corrected with convolution-based scatter estimation and backprojected to yield tiled long-length LE and HE radiographs. Projection-based DE decomposition is applied to the tiled radiographs to yield (i) aBMD measurements in bone, and (ii) adipose content measurement in bone-free regions. The feasibility of achieving accurate aBMD estimates was assessed using a high-fidelity simulation framework with a digital body phantom and a realistic bone model covering a clinically relevant range of mineral densities. Experiments examined the effects of slot size (1 – 20 cm), scatter correction, and patient size/adipose content (waist circumference: 77 – 95 cm) on the accuracy and reproducibility of aBMD. Results: The proposed combination of backprojection-based tiling of the slot views and DE decomposition yielded bone density maps of the spine that were free of any apparent distortions. The x-ray scatter increased with slot width, leading to aBMD errors ranging from 0.2 g/cm2 for a 5 cm slot to 0.7 g/cm2 for a 20 cm slot when no scatter correction was applied. The convolution-based correction reduced the aBMD error to within 0.02 g/cm2 for slot widths <10 cm. Reproducible aBMD measurements across a range of body sizes (aBMD variability <0.1 g/cm2) were achieved by applying a calibration based on DE adipose thickness estimates from peripheral body sites. Conclusion: The feasibility of accurate and reproducible aBMD measurements on an FPD-based x-ray platform was demonstrated using DE slot scan trajectories, backprojection-domain decomposition, scatter correction, and adipose pre-correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2020
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
EditorsGuang-Hong Chen, Hilde Bosmans
ISBN (Electronic)9781510633919
StatePublished - 2020
EventMedical Imaging 2020: Physics of Medical Imaging - Houston, United States
Duration: Feb 16 2020Feb 19 2020

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2020: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Bone mineral density (BMD)
  • Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
  • Robotic x-ray systems
  • Slot scan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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