Image-based material decomposition with a general volume constraint for photon-counting CT

Zhoubo Li, Shuai Leng, Lifeng Yu, Zhicong Yu, Cynthia H. McCollough

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

22 Scopus citations


Photon-counting CT (PCCT) potentially offers both improved dose efficiency and material decomposition capabilities relative to CT systems using energy integrating detectors. With respect to material decomposition, both projection-based and image-based methods have been proposed, most of which require accurate a priori information regarding the shape of the x-ray spectra and the response of the detectors. Additionally, projection-based methods require access to projection data. These data can be difficult to obtain, since spectra, detector response, and projection data formats are proprietary information. Further, some published image-based, 3-material decomposition methods require a volume conservation assumption, which is often violated in solutions. We have developed an image-based material decomposition method that can overcome those limitations. We introduced a general condition on volume constraint that does not require the volume to be conserved in a mixture. An empirical calibration can be performed with various concentrations of basis materials. The material decomposition method was applied to images acquired from a prototype whole-body PCCT scanner. The results showed good agreement between the estimation and known mass concentration values. Factors affecting the performance of material decomposition, such as energy threshold configuration and volume conservation constraint, were also investigated. Changes in accuracy of the mass concentration estimates were demonstrated for four different energy configurations and when volume conservation was assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2015
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
EditorsChristoph Hoeschen, Despina Kontos, Christoph Hoeschen
ISBN (Electronic)9781628415025
StatePublished - 2015
EventMedical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging - Orlando, United States
Duration: Feb 22 2015Feb 25 2015

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • CT
  • Energy threshold configuration
  • Material decomposition
  • Multi-energy
  • Photon counting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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