Accelerated 3D image reconstruction with a morphological pyramid and noise-power convergence criterion

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Model-based iterative reconstruction (MBIR) for cone-beam CT (CBCT) offers better noise-resolution tradeoff and image quality than analytical methods for acquisition protocols with low X-ray dose or limited data, but with increased computational burden that poses a drawback to routine application in clinical scenarios. This work develops a comprehensive framework for acceleration of MBIR in the form of penalized weighted least squares optimized with ordered subsets separable quadratic surrogates. The optimization was scheduled on a set of stages forming a morphological pyramid varying in voxel size. Transition between stages was controlled with a convergence criterion based on the deviation between the mid-band noise power spectrum (NPS) measured on a homogeneous region of the evolving reconstruction and that expected for the converged image, computed with an analytical model that used projection data and the reconstruction parameters. A stochastic backprojector was developed by introducing a random perturbation to the sampling position of each voxel for each ray in the reconstruction within a voxel-based backprojector, breaking the deterministic pattern of sampling artifacts when combined with an unmatched Siddon forward projector. This fast, forward and backprojector pair were included into a multi-resolution reconstruction strategy to provide support for objects partially outside of the field of view. Acceleration from ordered subsets was combined with momentum accumulation stabilized with an adaptive technique that automatically resets the accumulated momentum when it diverges noticeably from the current iteration update. The framework was evaluated with CBCT data of a realistic abdomen phantom acquired on an imaging X-ray bench and with clinical CBCT data from an angiography robotic C-arm (Artis Zeego, Siemens Healthineers, Forchheim, Germany) acquired during a liver embolization procedure. Image fidelity was assessed with the structural similarity index (SSIM) computed with a converged reconstruction. The accelerated framework provided accurate reconstructions in 60 s (SSIM = 0.97) and as little as 27 s (SSIM = 0.94) for soft-tissue evaluation. The use of simple forward and backprojectors resulted in 9.3× acceleration. Accumulation of momentum provided extra ∼3.5× acceleration with stable convergence for 6-30 subsets. The NPS-driven morphological pyramid resulted in initial faster convergence, achieving similar SSIM with 1.5× lower runtime than the single-stage optimization. Acceleration of MBIR to provide reconstruction time compatible with clinical applications is feasible via architectures that integrate algorithmic acceleration with approaches to provide stable convergence, and optimization schedules that maximize convergence speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055012
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 7 2021


  • Cone beam ct
  • Model-based iterative reconstruction
  • Momentum acceleration
  • Noise-resolution models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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