Visualization and quantification of small structures with computed tomography (CT) is hampered by the limited spatial resolution of the system. Histogram-based selective deblurring (HiSD) is a deconvolution method that restores small high-density structures, i.e., calcifications, of a CT image, using the high-intensity voxel information of the deconvolved image, while preserving the original hounsfield Units (HUs) in the remaining tissues. In this study, high resolution micro-CT data are used to validate the potential of HiSD to improve calcium visualization and quantification in the carotid arteries on in vivo contrast-enhanced CTA data. The evaluation is performed qualitatively and quantitatively on 15 atherosclerotic plaques obtained from ten different patients. HiSD in combination with vessel segmentation significantly improves calcification visualization and quantification on in vivo contrast-enhanced CT images. Calcification blur is reduced, while avoiding noise amplification and edge-ringing artifacts in the surrounding tissues. Calcification quantification errors are reduced by 23.5% on average. © 2006 IEEE.

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IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Rollano Hijarrubia, M. E., Manniesing, R., & Niessen, W. (2009). Selective deblurring for improved calcification visualization and quantification in carotid CT angiography: Validation using micro-CT. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 28(3), 446–453. doi:10.1109/TMI.2008.2006529