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1.  Development of a Noise Reduction Filter Algorithm for Pediatric Body Images in Multidetector CT 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2009;23(6):806-818.
Recently, several types of post-processing image filter which was designed to reduce noise allowing a corresponding dose reduction in CT images have been proposed and these were reported to be useful for noise reduction of CT images of adult patients. However, these have not been reported on adaptation for pediatric patients. Because they are not very effective with small (<20 cm) display fields of view, they could not be used for pediatric (e.g., premature babies and infants) body CT images. In order to solve this restriction, we have developed a new noise reduction filter algorithm which can be applicable for pediatric body CT images. This algorithm is based on a three-dimensional post processing, in which output pixel values are calculated by multi-directional, one-dimensional median filters on original volumetric datasets. The processed directions were selected except in in-plane (axial plane) direction, and consequently the in-plane spatial resolution was not affected by the filter. Also, in other directions, the spatial resolutions including slice thickness were almost maintained due to a characteristic of non-linear filtering of the median filter. From the results of phantom studies, the proposed algorithm could reduce standard deviation values as a noise index by up to 30% without affecting the spatial resolution of all directions, and therefore, contrast-to-noise ratio was improved by up to 30%. This newly developed filter algorithm will be useful for the diagnosis and radiation dose reduction of pediatric body CT images.
PMCID: PMC3046695  PMID: 19536600
Computed tomography (CT); pediatric; noise reduction; image processing; radiation dose; spatial resolution
2.  An Algorithm for Tracking Microcatheters in Fluoroscopy 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2007;21(1):99-108.
Currently, a large number of endovascular interventions are performed for treatment of intracranial aneurysms. For these treatments, correct positioning of microcatheter tips, microguide wire tips, or coils is essential. Techniques to detect such devices may facilitate endovascular interventions. In this paper, we describe an algorithm for tracking of microcatheter tips during fluoroscopically guided neuroendovascular interventions. A sequence of fluoroscopic images (1,024 × 1,024 × 12 bits) was acquired using a C-arm angiography system as a microcatheter was passed through a carotid phantom which was on top of a head phantom. The carotid phantom was a silicone cylinder containing a simulated vessel with the shape and curvatures of the internal carotid artery. The head phantom consisted of a human skull and tissue-equivalent material. To detect the microcatheter in a given fluoroscopic frame, a background image consisting of an average of the four previous frames is subtracted from the current frame, the resulting image is filtered using a matched filter, and the position of maximum intensity in the filtered image is taken as the catheter tip position in the current frame. The distance between the tracked position and the correct position (error distance) was measured in each of the fluoroscopic images. The mean and standard deviation of the error distance values were 0.277 mm (1.59 pixels) and 0.26 mm (1.5 pixels), respectively. The error distance was less than 3 pixels in the 93.0% frames. Although the algorithm intermittently failed to correctly detect the catheter, the algorithm recovered the catheter in subsequent frames.
PMCID: PMC3043820  PMID: 17318702
Catheter motion tracking; vascular intervention; fluorography; cerebral artery; image subtraction; microcatheter; navigation system
3.  Detectability of Regional Lung Ventilation with Flat-panel Detector-based Dynamic Radiography 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2007;21(1):109-120.
This study was performed to investigate the ability of breathing chest radiography using flat-panel detector (FPD) to quantify relative local ventilation. Dynamic chest radiographs during respiration were obtained using a modified FPD system. Imaging was performed in three different positions, ie, standing and right and left decubitus positions, to change the distribution of local ventilation. We measured the average pixel value in the local lung area. Subsequently, the interframe differences, as well as difference values between maximum inspiratory and expiratory phases, were calculated. The results were visualized as images in the form of a color display to show more or less x-ray translucency. Temporal changes and spatial distribution of the results were then compared to lung physiology. In the results, the average pixel value in each lung was associated with respiratory phase. In all positions, respiratory changes of pixel value in the lower area were greater than those in the upper area (P < 0.01), which was the same tendency as the regional differences in ventilation determined by respiratory physiology. In addition, in the decubitus position, it was observed that areas with large respiratory changes in pixel value moved up in the vertical direction during expiration, which was considered to be airway closure. In conclusion, breathing chest radiography using FPD was shown to be capable of quantifying relative ventilation in local lung area and detecting regional differences in ventilation and timing of airway closure. This method is expected to be useful as a new diagnostic imaging modality for evaluating relative local ventilation.
PMCID: PMC3043825  PMID: 17356803
Digital imaging; functional imaging; computer analysis; chest radiographs; flat-panel detector; FPD; ventilation
4.  Microcatheter Tip Enhancement in Fluoroscopy: A Comparison of Techniques 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2006;20(4):367-372.
We compared three techniques for enhancement of microcatheter tips in fluoroscopic images: conventional subtraction technique (CST); averaged image subtraction technique (AIST), which we have developed; and double average filtering (DAF) technique, which uses nonlinear background estimates. A pulsed fluoroscopic image sequence was obtained as a microcatheter was passed through a carotid phantom that was on top of a head phantom. The carotid phantom was a silicone cylinder containing a simulated vessel with the shape and curvatures of the internal carotid artery. The three techniques were applied to the images of the sequence, then the catheter tip was manually identified in each image, and 100 x 100 pixel images, centered at the indicated microcatheter tip positions, were extracted for the evaluations. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was calculated in each of the extracted images from which the mean value of the SNR and its standard deviation (SD) were calculated for each technique. The mean values and the standard deviations were 4.36 (SD 3.40) for CST, 6.34 (SD 3.62) for AIST, and 3.55 (SD 1.27) for DAF. AIST had a higher SNR compared to CST in almost all frames. Although DAF yielded the smallest mean SNR value, it yielded the best SNR in those frames in which the microcatheter tip did not move between frames. We conclude that AIST provides the best SNR for a moving microcatheter tip and that DAF is optimal for a temporarily stationary microcatheter tip.
PMCID: PMC3043922  PMID: 16946988
Microcatheter tracking; enhancement technique; subtraction technique; signal-to-noise ratio; comparison of techniques; fluorography; endovascular intervention
5.  Computerized Methods for Determining Respiratory Phase on Dynamic Chest Radiographs Obtained by a Dynamic Flat-Panel Detector (FPD) System 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2006;19(1):41-51.
Chest radiography using a dynamic flat-panel detector with a large field of view can provide sequential chest radiographs during respiration. These images provide information regarding respiratory kinetics, which is effective for diagnosis of pulmonary diseases. For valid analysis of respiratory kinetics in diagnosis of pulmonary diseases, it is crucial to determine the association between the kinetics and respiratory phase. We developed four methods to determine the respiratory phase based on image information associated with respiration and compared the results in dynamic chest radiographs of 37 subjects. Here, the properties of each method and future tasks are discussed. The method based on the change in size of the lung gave the most stable results, and that based on the change in distance from the lung apex to the diaphragm was the most promising method for determining the respiratory phase.
PMCID: PMC3043950  PMID: 15827824
Respiratory phase; flat-panel detector (FPD); computer analysis; diaphragm; diagnosis

Results 1-5 (5)