Background: Motion-compensated (MoCo) reconstruction shows great promise in improving four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (4D-CBCT) image quality. MoCo reconstruction for a 4D-CBCT could be more accurate using motion information at the CBCT imaging time than that obtained from previous 4D-CT scans. However, such data-driven approaches are hampered by the quality of initial 4D-CBCT images used for motion modeling.
Purpose: This study aims to develop a deep-learning method to generate high-quality motion models for MoCo reconstruction to improve the quality of final 4D-CBCT images.
Methods: A 3D artifact-reduction convolutional neural network (CNN) was proposed to improve conventional phase-correlated Feldkamp-Davis-Kress (PCF) reconstructions by reducing undersampling-induced streaking artifacts while maintaining motion information. The CNN-generated artifact-mitigated 4D-CBCT images (CNN enhanced) were then used to build a motion model which was used by MoCo reconstruction (CNN+MoCo). The proposed procedure was evaluated using in-vivo patient datasets, an extended cardiac-torso (XCAT) phantom, and the public SPARE challenge datasets. The quality of reconstructed images for XCAT phantom and SPARE datasets was quantitatively assessed using root-mean-square-error (RMSE) and normalized cross-correlation (NCC).
Results: The trained CNN effectively reduced the streaking artifacts of PCF CBCT images for all datasets. More detailed structures can be recovered using the proposed CNN+MoCo reconstruction procedure. XCAT phantom experiments showed that the accuracy of estimated motion model using CNN enhanced images was greatly improved over PCF. CNN+MoCo showed lower RMSE and higher NCC compared to PCF, CNN enhanced and conventional MoCo. For the SPARE datasets, the average (± standard deviation) RMSE in mm-1 for body region of PCF, CNN enhanced, conventional MoCo and CNN+MoCo were 0.0040 ± 0.0009, 0.0029 ± 0.0002, 0.0024 ± 0.0003 and 0.0021 ± 0.0003. Corresponding NCC were 0.84 ± 0.05, 0.91 ± 0.05, 0.91 ± 0.05 and 0.93 ± 0.04.
Conclusions: CNN-based artifact reduction can substantially reduce the artifacts in the initial 4D-CBCT images. The improved images could be used to enhance the motion modeling and ultimately improve the quality of the final 4D-CBCT images reconstructed using MoCo.
Keywords: 4D-CBCT; deep learning; motion compensation.
© 2022 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.