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In computed tomography (CT), selection of a convolution kernel determines the tradeoff between image sharpness and pixel noise. For certain clinical applications it is desirable to have two or more sets of images with different settings. So far, this typically requires reconstruction of several sets of images. We present an alternative approach using default reconstruction of sharp images and online filtering in the spatial domain allowing modification of the sharpness-noise tradeoff in real time. A suitable smoothing filter function in the frequency domain is the ratio of smooth and original (sharp) kernel. Efficient implementation can be achieved by a Fourier transform of this ratio to the spatial domain. Separating the two-dimensional spatial filtering into two subsequent one-dimensional filtering stages in the x and y directions using a Gaussian approximation for the convolution kernel further reduces computational complexity. Due to efficient implementation, interactive modification of the filter settings becomes possible, which can completely replace the variety of different reconstruction kernels.
Date of Publication: July 2003