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9 March 2017 An investigation of low-dose 3D scout scans for computed tomography
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Purpose: Commonly 2D scouts or topograms are used prior to CT scan acquisition. However, low-dose 3D scouts could potentially provide additional information for more effective patient positioning and selection of acquisition protocols. We propose using model-based iterative reconstruction to reconstruct low exposure tomographic data to maintain image quality in both low-dose 3D scouts and reprojected topograms based on those 3D scouts. Methods: We performed tomographic acquisitions on a CBCT test-bench using a range of exposure settings from 16.6 to 231.9 total mAs. Both an anthropomorphic phantom and a 32 cm CTDI phantom were scanned. The penalized-likelihood reconstructions were made using Matlab and CUDA libraries and reconstruction parameters were tuned to determine the best regularization strength and delta parameter. RMS error between reconstructions and the highest exposure reconstruction were computed, and CTDIW values were reported for each exposure setting. RMS error for reprojected topograms were also computed. Results: We find that we are able to produce low-dose (0.417 mGy) 3D scouts that show high-contrast and large anatomical features while maintaining the ability to produce traditional topograms. Conclusions: We demonstrated that iterative reconstruction can mitigate noise in very low exposure CT acquisitions to enable 3D CT scout. Such additional 3D information may lead to improved protocols for patient positioning and acquisition refinements as well as a number of advanced dose reduction strategies that require localization of anatomical features and quantities that are not provided by simple 2D topograms.
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Juliana Gomes, Grace J. Gang, Aswin Mathews, and J. Webster Stayman "An investigation of low-dose 3D scout scans for computed tomography", Proc. SPIE 10132, Medical Imaging 2017: Physics of Medical Imaging, 101322M (9 March 2017);

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