Rotational micro-CT using a clinical C-arm angiography gantry

Med Phys. 2008 Oct;35(10):4757-64. doi: 10.1118/1.2989989.


Rotational angiography (RA) gantries are used routinely to acquire sequences of projection images of patients from which 3D renderings of vascular structures are generated using Feldkamp cone-beam reconstruction algorithms. However, these systems have limited resolution (<4 lp/mm). Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) systems have better resolution (>10 lp/mm) but to date have relied either on rotating object imaging or small bore geometry for small animal imaging, and thus are not used for clinical imaging. The authors report here the development and use of a 3D rotational micro-angiography (RMA) system created by mounting a micro-angiographic fluoroscope (MAF) [35 microm pixel, resolution >10 microp/mm, field of view (FOV)=3.6 cm] on a standard clinical FPD-based RA gantry (Infinix, Model RTP12303J-G9E, Toshiba Medical Systems Corp., Tustin, CA). RA image sequences are obtained using the MAF and reconstructed. To eliminate artifacts due to image truncation, lower-dose (compared to MAF acquisition) full-FOV (FFOV) FPD RA sequences (194 microm pixel, FOV=20 cm) were also obtained to complete the missing data. The RA gantry was calibrated using a helical bead phantom. To ensure high-quality high-resolution reconstruction, the high-resolution images from the MAF were aligned spatially with the lower-dose FPD images, and the pixel values in the FPD image data were scaled to match those of the MAF. Images of a rabbit with a coronary stent placed in an artery in the Circle of Willis were obtained and reconstructed. The MAF images appear well aligned with the FPD images (average correlation coefficient before and after alignment: 0.65 and 0.97, respectively) Greater details without any visible truncation artifacts are seen in 3D RMA (MAF-FPD) images than in those of the FPD alone. The FWHM of line profiles of stent struts (100 microm diameter) are approximately 192+/-21 and 313+/-38 microm for the 3D RMA and FPD data, respectively. In addition, for the dual-acquisition 3D RMA, FFOV FPD data need not be of the highest quality, and thus may be acquired at lower dose compared to a standard FPD acquisition. These results indicate that this system could provide the basis for high resolution images of regions of interest in patients with a reduction in the integral dose compared to the standard FPD approach.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Letter
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiography / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rotation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / instrumentation*