In sparse-view CT imaging, strong streak artifacts may appear around bony structures and they often compromise the image readability. Compressed sensing (CS) or total variation (TV) minimization-based image reconstruction method has reduced the streak artifacts to a great extent, but, sparse-view CT imaging still suffers from residual streak artifacts. We introduce a new bone-induced streak artifact reduction method in the CS-based image reconstruction.
We firstly identify the high-intensity bony regions from the image reconstructed by the filtered backprojection (FBP) method, and we calculate the sinogram stemming from the bony regions only. Then, we subtract the calculated sinogram, which stands for the bony regions, from the measured sinogram before performing the CS-based image reconstruction. The image reconstructed from the subtracted sinogram will stand for the soft tissues with little streak artifacts on it. To restore the original image intensity in the bony regions, we add the bony region image, which has been identified from the FBP image, to the soft tissue image to form a combined image. Then, we perform the CS-based image reconstruction again on the measured sinogram using the combined image as the initial condition of the iteration. For experimental validation of the proposed method, we take images of a contrast phantom and a rat using a micro-CT and we evaluate the reconstructed images based on two figures of merit, relative mean square error and total variation caused by the streak artifacts.
The images reconstructed by the proposed method have been found to have smaller streak artifacts than the ones reconstructed by the original CS-based method when visually inspected. The quantitative image evaluation studies have also shown that the proposed method outperforms the conventional CS-based method.