Impact of the z-flying focal spot on resolution and artifact behavior for a 64-slice spiral CT scanner
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The effect of the z-flying focal spot (zFFS) technology was evaluated by simulations and measurements with respect to resolution and artifact behavior for a 64-slice spiral cone-beam computed tomography (CT) scanner. The zFFS alternates between two z-positions of the X-ray focal spot, acquiring two slices per detector row, which results in double sampling in the z-direction. We implemented a modified reconstruction that is able to obtain images as they would be without zFFS. A delta phantom equipped with a thin gold disc was used to measure slice sensitivity profiles (SSP), and a high-contrast bar phantom was used to quantify the resolution in the x/z-plane with and without zFFS. The zFFS decreases the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the SSPs by a factor of about 1.4. The double z-sampling allows the separation of 0.4 mm bars in the z-direction compared with 0.6 mm in the case without zFFS. The zFFS effectively reduces windmill artifacts in the reconstructed images while maintaining the transverse resolution, even at the largest available pitch value of 1.5.
KeywordsSpiral CT Image quality Windmill artifacts z-flying focal spot
We gratefully acknowledge support from Siemens Medical Solutions who provided a Sensation 64 CT scanner to our institute for experimental and clinical work.