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Tomographic reconstruction on an irregular grid may be superior to reconstruction on a regular grid. This is achieved through an appropriate choice of the image space model, the selection of an optimal set of points and the use of any available prior information during the reconstruction process. Accordingly, a number of reconstruction related parameters must be optimized for best performance. In this work, a 3D point cloud tetrahedral mesh reconstruction method is evaluated for quantitative tasks. A linear image model is employed to obtain the reconstruction system matrix and five point generation strategies are studied. The evaluation is performed using the recovery coefficient, as well as, voxel and template based estimates of bias and variance measures, computed over specific regions in the reconstructed image. A similar analysis is performed for regular grid reconstructions that use voxel basis functions. The maximum likelihood expectation maximization reconstruction algorithm is used. For the tetrahedral reconstructions, of the five point generation methods that are evaluated, three use image priors. For evaluation purposes, an object consisting of overlapping spheres with varying activity is simulated. The exact parallel projection data of this object is obtained analytically using a parallel projector and multiple Poisson noise realizations of this exact data are generated and reconstructed using the different point generation strategies. The unconstrained nature of point placement in some of the irregular mesh based reconstruction strategies has superior activity recovery for small, low contrast image regions. The results show that, with an appropriately generated set of mesh points, the irregular grid reconstruction methods can out-perform reconstructions on a regular grid for mathematical phantoms, in terms of the performance measures evaluated.
Date of Conference: 23-29 Oct. 2011