The effect of pitch in multislice spiral/helical CT

Med Phys. 1999 Dec;26(12):2648-53. doi: 10.1118/1.598804.


The purpose of this study is to understand the effect of pitch on raw data interpolation in multislice spiral/helical computed tomography (CT) and provide guidelines for scanner design and protocol optimization. Multislice spiral CT is mainly characterized by the three parameters: the number of detector arrays, the detector collimation, and the table increment per x-ray source rotation. The pitch in multislice spiral CT is defined as the ratio of the table increment over the detector collimation in this study. In parallel to the current framework for studying longitudinal image resolution, the central fan-beam rays of direct and opposite directions are considered, assuming a narrow cone-beam angle. Generally speaking, sampling in the Radon domain by the direct and opposite central rays is nonuniform along the longitudinal axis. Using a recently developed methodology for quantifying the sensitivity of signal reconstruction from nonuniformly sampled finite points, the effect of pitch on raw data interpolation is analyzed in multislice spiral CT. Unlike single-slice spiral CT, in which image quality decreases monotonically as the pitch increases, the sensitivity of raw data interpolation in multislice spiral CT increases in an alternating way as the pitch increases, suggesting that image quality does not decrease monotonically in this case. The most favorable pitch can be found from the sensitivity-pitch plot for any given set of multislice spiral CT parameters. An example for four-slice spiral CT is provided. The study on the effect of pitch using the sensitivity analysis approach reveals the fundamental characteristics of raw data interpolation in multislice spiral CT, and gives insights into interaction between pitch and image quality. These results may be valuable for design of multislice spiral CT scanners and imaging protocol optimization in clinical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Models, Statistical
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*