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Order of Magnitude Sensitivity Increase in X-ray Fluorescence Computed Tomography (XFCT) Imaging With an Optimized Spectro-Spatial Detector Configuration: Theory and Simulation

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4 Author(s)
Ahmad, M. ; Sch. of Med., Dept. of Radiat. Oncology, Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA, USA ; Bazalova, M. ; Liangzhong Xiang ; Lei Xing

The purpose of this study was to increase the sensitivity of XFCT imaging by optimizing the data acquisition geometry for reduced scatter X-rays. The placement of detectors and detector energy window were chosen to minimize scatter X-rays. We performed both theoretical calculations and Monte Carlo simulations of this optimized detector configuration on a mouse-sized phantom containing various gold concentrations. The sensitivity limits were determined for three different X-ray spectra: a monoenergetic source, a Gaussian source, and a conventional X-ray tube source. Scatter X-rays were minimized using a backscatter detector orientation (scatter direction > 110° to the primary X-ray beam). The optimized configuration simultaneously reduced the number of detectors and improved the image signal-to-noise ratio. The sensitivity of the optimized configuration was 10 μg/mL (10 pM) at 2 mGy dose with the mono-energetic source, which is an order of magnitude improvement over the unoptimized configuration (102 pM without the optimization). Similar improvements were seen with the Gaussian spectrum source and conventional X-ray tube source. The optimization improvements were predicted in the theoretical model and also demonstrated in simulations. The sensitivity of XFCT imaging can be enhanced by an order of magnitude with the data acquisition optimization, greatly enhancing the potential of this modality for future use in clinical molecular imaging.

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Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 5 )