AI-Enabled Ultra-Low-Dose CT Reconstruction

17 Jun 2021  ·  Weiwen Wu, Chuang Niu, Shadi Ebrahimian, Hengyong Yu, Mannu Kalra, Ge Wang ·

By the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle, ultra-low-dose CT reconstruction is a holy grail to minimize cancer risks and genetic damages, especially for children. With the development of medical CT technologies, the iterative algorithms are widely used to reconstruct decent CT images from a low-dose scan. Recently, artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have shown a great promise in further reducing CT radiation dose to the next level. In this paper, we demonstrate that AI-powered CT reconstruction offers diagnostic image quality at an ultra-low-dose level comparable to that of radiography. Specifically, here we develop a Split Unrolled Grid-like Alternative Reconstruction (SUGAR) network, in which deep learning, physical modeling and image prior are integrated. The reconstruction results from clinical datasets show that excellent images can be reconstructed using SUGAR from 36 projections. This approach has a potential to change future healthcare.

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