Defining Next Generation Cardiac CT Architecture
Cardiovascular diseases are pervasive with high mortality and morbidity at tremendous social and healthcare costs. There are urgent needs for significantly higher fidelity cardiac CT with substantially lower radiation dose, which is currently not possible because of technical limitations. Although cardiac CT technology has improved significantly from 16 to 320 detector rows and from single to dual source, there remain technical challenges in terms of temporal resolution, spatial resolution, radiation dose, and so on. Based on an ideal academic-industrial partnership between Virginia Tech and the GE Global Research Center (GEGR), we are motivated to advance the state-of-the-art in cardiac CT.
The overall goal of this project is to develop novel cardiac CT architectures and the associated reconstruction algorithms, and define the next-generation cardiac CT system. The specific aims are to (1) design, analyze and compare novel cardiac CT architectures with novel sources and scanning trajectories; (2) develop analytic and iterative cardiac CT reconstruction algorithms for ROI-oriented scanning and dynamic imaging for the proposed cardiac CT architectures; and (3) evaluate and validate the proposed architectures and algorithms in theoretical studies, numerical simulations, phantom experiments and observer studies.
On completion of this project, we will have singled out the most promising cardiac CT architectures and algorithms to achieve 16cm coverage, 50ms temporal resolution, 20lp/cm spatial resolution, 10HU noise level, and 1mSv effective dose simultaneously for the entire examination, with detailed specifications and performance evaluation, setting the stage for prototyping a next-generation cardiac CT system in a Phase-II project. This project will enable significantly better diagnostic performance and bring major therapeutic benefits that affect over 60 million Americans.
- Numerical Simulation: GE Global Research Center developed a simulation environment CatSim for x-ray CT and licensed to Virginia Tech. The well-known NCAT and UCAIR phantoms will be used to generate realistic datasets.
- Phantom Experiments: GE Global Research Center has an experimental platform capable of emulating a very wide range of CT geometries. A cardiac CT phantom with beating heart inserts will be used, along with a CT performance phantom and a dosimeter.
- Approach for Initial Evaluation: Modified Completeness Maps based on the Tuy’s condition and interior tomography theory respectively.
- Approach for General Evaluation: Traditional image quality matrix and radiation dose indexes.
- Approach for Specific Evaluation: Mathematical and human observer studies will compare both imaging performance and system superiority.
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