Radiation dose reduction in four-dimensional computed tomography

T. Li, E. Schreibmann, B. Thorndyke, G. Tillman, A. Boyer, A. Koong, K. Goodman, L. Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Four-dimensional (4D) CT is useful in many clinical situations, where detailed abdominal and thoracic imaging is needed over the course of the respiratory cycle. However, it usually delivers a larger radiation dose than the standard three-dimensional (3D) CT, since multiple scans at each couch position are required in order to provide the temporal information. Our purpose in this work is to develop a method to perform 4D CT scans at relatively low current, hence reducing the radiation exposure of the patients. To deal with the increased statistical noise caused by the low current, we proposed a novel 4D penalized weighted least square (4D-PWLS) smoothing method, which can incorporate both spatial and phase information. The 4D images at different phases were registered to the same phase via a deformable model, thereby, a regularization term combining temporal and spatial neighbors can be designed for the 4D-PWLS objective function. The proposed method was tested with phantom experiments and a patient study, and superior noise suppression and resolution preservation were observed. A quantitative evaluation of the benefit of the proposed method to 4D radiotherapy and 4D PET/CT imaging are under investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3650-3660
Number of pages11
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • 4D CT
  • 4D radiotherapy planning
  • Deformable registration
  • Low dose
  • PET/CT
  • PWLS


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