Refraction corrected transmission ultrasound computed tomography for application in breast imaging

Shengying Li*, Marcel Jackowski, Donald P. Dione, Trond Varslot, Lawrence H. Staib, Klaus Mueller

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    57 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: We present an iterative framework for CT reconstruction from transmission ultrasound data which accurately and efficiently models the strong refraction effects that occur in our target application: Imaging the female breast. Methods: Our refractive ray tracing framework has its foundation in the fast marching method (FNMM) and it allows an accurate as well as efficient modeling of curved rays. We also describe a novel regularization scheme that yields further significant reconstruction quality improvements. A final contribution is the development of a realistic anthropomorphic digital breast phantom based on the NIH Visible Female data set. Results: Our system is able to resolve very fine details even in the presence of significant noise, and it reconstructs both sound speed and attenuation data. Excellent correspondence with a traditional, but significantly more computationally expensive wave equation solver is achieved. Conclusions: Apart from the accurate modeling of curved rays, decisive factors have also been our regularization scheme and the high-quality interpolation filter we have used. An added benefit of our framework is that it accelerates well on GPUs where we have shown that clinical 3D reconstruction speeds on the order of minutes are possible.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2233-2246
    Number of pages14
    JournalMedical Physics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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