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In Computer methods and programs in biomedicine

OBJECTIVE : The dual-domain deep learning-based reconstruction techniques have enjoyed many successful applications in the field of medical image reconstruction. Applying the analytical reconstruction based operator to transfer the data from the projection domain to the image domain, the dual-domain techniques may suffer from the insufficient suppression or removal of streak artifacts in areas with the missing view data, when addressing the sparse-view reconstruction problems. In this work, to overcome this problem, an intelligent sinogram synthesis based back-projection network (iSSBP-Net) was proposed for sparse-view computed tomography (CT) reconstruction. In the iSSBP-Net method, a convolutional neural network (CNN) was involved in the dual-domain method to inpaint the missing view data in the sinogram before CT reconstruction.

METHODS : The proposed iSSBP-Net method fused a sinogram synthesis sub-network (SS-Net), a sinogram filter sub-network (SF-Net), a back-projection layer, and a post-CNN into an end-to-end network. Firstly, to inpaint the missing view data, the SS-Net employed a CNN to synthesize the full-view sinogram in the projection domain. Secondly, to improve the visual quality of the sparse-view CT images, the synthesized sinogram was filtered by a CNN. Thirdly, the filtered sinogram was brought into the image domain through the back-projection layer. Finally, to yield images of high visual sensitivity, the post-CNN was applied to restore the desired images from the outputs of the back-projection layer.

RESULTS : The numerical experiments demonstrate that the proposed iSSBP-Net is superior to all competing algorithms under different scanning condintions for sparse-view CT reconstruction. Compared to the competing algorithms, the proposed iSSBP-Net method improved the peak signal-to-noise ratio of the reconstructed images about 1.21 dB, 0.26 dB, 0.01 dB, and 0.37 dB under the scanning conditions of 360, 180, 90, and 60 views, respectively.

CONCLUSION : The promising reconstruction results indicate that involving the SS-Net in the dual-domain method is could be an effective manner to suppress or remove the streak artifacts in sparse-view CT images. Due to the promising results reconstructed by the iSSBP-Net method, this study is intended to inspire the further development of sparse-view CT reconstruction by involving a SS-Net in the dual-domain method.

Zhang Pengcheng, Li Kunpeng


CNN, CT, Deep learning, Dual-domain, Sparse-view