Purpose: To facilitate investigations into the impacts of acquisition and reconstruction parameters on quantitative imaging, radiomics and CAD using CT imaging, we previously released an open-source implementation of a conventional weighted filtered backprojection reconstruction called FreeCT_wFBP. Our purpose was to extend that work by providing an open-source implementation of a model-based iterative reconstruction method using coordinate descent optimization, called FreeCT_ICD. Methods: Model-based iterative reconstruction offers the potential for substantial radiation dose reduction, but can impose substantial computational processing and storage requirements. FreeCT_ICD is an open-source implementation of a model-based iterative reconstruction method that provides a reasonable tradeoff between these requirements. This was accomplished by adapting a previously proposed method that allows the system matrix to be stored with a reasonable memory requirement. The method amounts to describing the attenuation coefficient using rotating slices that follow the helical geometry. In the initially proposed version, the rotating slices are themselves described using blobs. We have replaced this description by a unique model that relies on trilinear interpolation together with the principles of Joseph's method. This model offers an improvement in memory requirement while still allowing highly accurate reconstruction for conventional CT geometries. The system matrix is stored column-wise and combined with an iterative coordinate descent (ICD) optimization. The result is FreeCT_ICD, which is a reconstruction program developed on the Linux platform using C++ libraries and released under the open-source GNU GPL v2.0 license. The software is capable of reconstructing raw projection data of helical CT scans. In this work, the software has been described and evaluated by reconstructing datasets exported from a clinical scanner which consisted of an ACR accreditation phantom dataset and a clinical pediatric thoracic scan. Results: For the ACR phantom, image quality was comparable to clinical reconstructions as well as reconstructions using open-source FreeCT_wFBP software. The pediatric thoracic scan also yielded acceptable results. In addition, we did not observe any deleterious impact in image quality associated with the utilization of rotating slices. These evaluations also demonstrated reasonable tradeoffs in storage requirements and computational demands. Conclusion: FreeCT_ICD is an open-source implementation of a model-based iterative reconstruction method that extends the capabilities of previously released open-source reconstruction software and provides the ability to perform vendor-independent reconstructions of clinically acquired raw projection data. This implementation represents a reasonable tradeoff between storage and computational requirements and has demonstrated acceptable image quality in both simulated and clinical image datasets.
- CT reconstruction
- free, FreeCT
- model-based iterative
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging