Purpose: Cone-beam rotational angiography (CBRA) is widely used in the modern clinical settings. In a number of procedures, the area of interest is often considerably smaller than the field of view (FOV) of the detector, subjecting the patient to potentially unnecessary x-ray dose. The authors therefore propose a filter-based method to reduce the dose in the regions of low interest, while supplying high image quality in the region of interest (ROI).
Methods: For such procedures, the authors propose a method of filtered region of interest (FROI)-CBRA. In the authors' approach, a gadolinium filter with a circular central opening is placed into the x-ray beam during image acquisition. The central region is imaged with high contrast, while peripheral regions are subjected to a substantial lower intensity and dose through beam filtering. The resulting images contain a high contrast/intensity ROI, as well as a low contrast/intensity peripheral region, and a transition region in between. To equalize the two regions' intensities, the first projection of the acquisition is performed with and without the filter in place. The equalization relationship, based on Beer's law, is established through linear regression using corresponding filtered and nonfiltered data. The transition region is equalized based on radial profiles.
Results: Evaluations in 2D and 3D show no visible difference between conventional FROI-CBRA projection images and reconstructions in the ROI. CNR evaluations show similar image quality in the ROI, with a reduced CNR in the reconstructed peripheral region. In all filtered projection images, the scatter fraction inside the ROI was reduced. Theoretical and experimental dose evaluations show a considerable dose reduction; using a ROI half the original FOV reduces the dose by 60% for the filter thickness of 1.29 mm.
Conclusions: These results indicate the potential of FROI-CBRA to reduce the dose to the patient while supplying the physician with the desired image detail inside the ROI.