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In Medical physics ; h5-index 59.0

Machine Learning, especially deep learning, has been used in typical x-ray computed tomography (CT) applications, including image reconstruction, image enhancement, image domain feature detection and image domain feature characterization. To our knowledge, this is the first study on machine learning for feature detection and analysis directly based on CT projection data. Specifically, we present neural network methods for blood vessel detection and characterization in the sinogram domain avoiding any partial volume, beam hardening, or motion artifacts introduced during reconstruction. First, we estimate sinogram domain vessel maps using a residual encoder-decoder convolutional neural network (REDCNN). Next, we estimate the vessel centerline and we extract the vessel-only sinogram from the original sinogram, eliminating any background information. Finally, we use a fully connected neural network to estimate the vessel lumen cross-sectional area from the vessel-only sinogram. We trained and tested the proposed methods using CatSim simulations, real CT measurements of vessel phantoms, and clinical data from the NIH CT image database. We achieved encouraging initial results showing the feasibility of CT analysis in the sinogram domain. In principle, sinogram domain analysis should be possible for many other and more complicated clinical CT analysis tasks. Further studies are needed for this sinogram domain analysis approach to become practical for clinical applications.

De Man Quinten, Haneda Eri, Claus Bernhard, Fitzgerald Paul, De Man Bruno, Qian Guhan, Shan Hongming, Min James, Sabuncu Mert, Wang Ge


computed tomography, deep learning, machine learning, sinogram