Medical image processing on the GPU - Past, present and future
A major task in quantitative SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) reconstruction is compensation for object-specific attenuation, which is usually nonuniform. Mathematically this task is expressed as the inversion of the attenuated Radon transform. Novikov had derived an explicit inversion formula for the attenuated Radon transform for parallel-beam collimation geometry. In our previous work, we extended his work to variable focusing fan-beam (VFF) collimators. A ray-driven analytical inversion formula for VFF reconstruction with nonuniform attenuation was derived. The drawback of ray-driven methods is that they are time consuming. In this work, we proposed a fast implementation method, which includes algorithm optimization and acceleration by the texture-mapping architecture of PC graphics/video card. We further investigated the noise properties and associated artifacts of the analytical inversion formula. The artifacts were remarkably reduced when more projections were sampled to mitigate the problem of wide bandwidth of the discrete Hilbert transform. The reconstruction from noisy data demonstrated the accuracy and robustness of the presented ray-driven analytical inversion formula with dramatic speed acceleration by the PC graphics/video card.