An attempt to estimate out-of-plane lung nodule elongation in tomosynthesis images
Paper in proceedings, 2015
In chest tomosynthesis (TS) the most commonly used reconstruction methods are based on Filtered Back Projection (FBP) algorithms. Due to the limited angular range of x-ray projections, FBP reconstructed data is typically associated with a low spatial resolution in the out-of-plane dimension. Lung nodule measures that depend on depth information such as 3D shape and volume are therefore difficult to estimate. In this paper the relation between features from FBP reconstructed lung nodules and the true out-of-plane nodule elongation is investigated and a method for estimating the out-of-plane nodule elongation is proposed. In order to study these relations a number of steps that include simulation of spheroidal-shaped nodules, insertion into synthetic data volumes, construction of TS-projections and FBP-reconstruction were performed. In addition, the same procedure was used to simulate nodules and insert them into clinical chest TS projection data. The reconstructed nodule data was then investigated with respect to in-plane diameter, out-of-plane elongation, and attenuation coefficient. It was found that the voxel value in each nodule increased linearly with nodule elongation, for nodules with a constant attenuation coefficient. Similarly, the voxel value increased linearly with in-plane diameter. These observations indicate the possibility to predict the nodule elongation from the reconstructed voxel intensity values. Such a method would represent a quantitative approach to chest tomosynthesis that may be useful in future work on volume and growth rate estimation of lung nodules.
filtered back projection