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13 May 2017 Variable temporal sampling and tube current modulation for myocardial blood flow estimation from dose-reduced dynamic computed tomography
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Quantification of myocardial blood flow (MBF) can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. However, there are no widely accepted clinical methods for estimating MBF. Dynamic cardiac perfusion computed tomography (CT) holds the promise of providing a quick and easy method to measure MBF quantitatively. However, the need for repeated scans can potentially result in a high patient radiation dose, limiting the clinical acceptance of this approach. In our previous work, we explored techniques to reduce the patient dose by either uniformly reducing the tube current or by uniformly reducing the number of temporal frames in the dynamic CT sequence. These dose reduction techniques result in noisy time-attenuation curves (TACs), which can give rise to significant errors in MBF estimation. We seek to investigate whether nonuniformly varying the tube current and/or sampling intervals can yield more accurate MBF estimates for a given dose. Specifically, we try to minimize the dose and obtain the most accurate MBF estimate by addressing the following questions: when in the TAC should the CT data be collected and at what tube current(s)? We hypothesize that increasing the sampling rate and/or tube current during the time frames when the myocardial CT number is most sensitive to the flow rate, while reducing them elsewhere, can achieve better estimation accuracy for the same dose. We perform simulations of contrast agent kinetics and CT acquisitions to evaluate the relative MBF estimation performance of several clinically viable variable acquisition methods. We find that variable temporal and tube current sequences can be performed that impart an effective dose of 5.5 mSv and allow for reductions in MBF estimation root-mean-square error on the order of 20% compared to uniform acquisition sequences with comparable or higher radiation doses.
© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) 2329-4302/2017/$25.00 © 2017 SPIE
Dimple Modgil, Michael D. Bindschadler, Adam M. Alessio, and Patrick J. La Rivière "Variable temporal sampling and tube current modulation for myocardial blood flow estimation from dose-reduced dynamic computed tomography," Journal of Medical Imaging 4(2), 026002 (13 May 2017).
Received: 15 December 2016; Accepted: 18 April 2017; Published: 13 May 2017

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