BACKGROUND: Detecting and interpreting changes in the images of follow-up CT scans by the clinicians is often time-consuming and error-prone due to changes in patient position and non-rigid anatomy deformations. Thus, reconstructed repeat scan images are required, precluding reduced dose sparse-view repeat scanning. OBJECTIVE: A method to automatically detect changes in a region of interest of sparse-view repeat CT scans in the presence of non-rigid deformations of the patient's anatomy without reconstructing the original images. METHODS: The proposed method uses the sparse sinogram data of two CT scans to distinguish between genuine changes in the repeat scan and differences due to non-rigid anatomic deformations. First, size and contrast level of the changed regions are estimated from the difference between the scans' sinogram data. The estimated types of changes in the repeat scan help optimize the method's parameter values. Two scans are then aligned using Radon space non-rigid registration. Rays which crossed changes in the ROI are detected and back-projected onto image space in a two-phase procedure. These rays form a likelihood map from which the binary changed region map is computed. RESULTS: Experimental studies on four pairs of clinical lung and liver CT scans with simulated changed regions yield a mean changed region recall rate >'86%and a mean precision rate >'83%when detecting large changes with low contrast, and high contrast changes, even when small. The new method outperforms image space methods using prior image constrained compressed sensing (PICCS) reconstruction, particularly for small, low contrast changes (recall'='15.8%, precision'='94.7%). CONCLUSION: Our method for automatic change detection in sparse-view repeat CT scans with non-rigid deformations may assist radiologists by highlighting the changed regions and may obviate the need for a high-quality repeat scan image when no changes are detected.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Innovation Authority, Grant No. 57706.
© 2021 - IOS Press.
- 3D Radon space
- low-dose sparse repeat CT scanning
- non-rigid transformation
- repeat scan change detection