Beam Hardening Correction Using Cone Beam Consistency Conditions
The polychromatic X-ray spectrum and the energy-dependent attenuation coefficient of materials cause beam hardening artifacts in CT reconstructed volumes. These artifacts appear as cupping and streak artifacts depending on the material composition and the geometry of the imaged object. CT scanners employ projection linearization to transform polychromatic attenuation to monochromatic attenuation using a polynomial model. Polynomial coefficients are computed during calibration or using prior information such as X-ray spectrum and attenuation properties of the materials. In this paper, we are presenting a novel method to correct beam hardening artifacts by enforcing cone beam consistency conditions on the projection data. We used consistency conditions derived from Grangeat's fundamental relation between cone beam projection data and 3-D Radon transform. The optimal polynomial coefficients for artifact reduction are iteratively estimated by minimizing the inconsistency of a set of projection pairs. The results from simulated and real datasets show the visible reduction of artifacts. Our studies also demonstrate the robustness of the algorithm when the projections are perturbed with other physical measurement and geometrical errors. The proposed method requires neither calibration nor prior information like X-ray spectrum, attenuation properties of the materials and detector response. The algorithm can be used for beam hardening correction in clinical, pre-clinical, and industrial CT systems.