Framework of metal insertion in the projection domain for image quality optimization in interventional computed tomography

Liqiang Ren, Andrea Ferrero, Christopher Favazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This work aims to develop a framework to accurately and efficiently simulate metallic objects used during interventional oncology (IO) procedures and their artifacts in computed tomography (CT) images of different body regions. Approach: A metal insertion framework based on an existing lesion insertion tool was developed. Noise and beam hardening models were incorporated into the model and validated by comparing images of real and artificially inserted metallic rods of known material composition and dimensions. The framework was further validated by inserting ablation probes into a water phantom and comparing image appearance to scans of real probes at matching locations in the phantom. Finally, a comprehensive library of metallic probes used in our IO practice was generated and a graphical user interface was built to efficiently insert any number of probes at arbitrary positions in patient CT data, including projection and image domain insertions. Results: Metallic rod experiments demonstrated that noise and beam hardening were properly modeled. Phantom and patient data with virtually inserted probes demonstrated similar artifact appearance and magnitude compared with real probes. The developed user interface resulted in accurately co-registered virtual probes both with and without accompanying artifacts from projection and image domain insertions, respectively. Conclusions: The developed metal insertion framework successfully replicates metallic object and artifact appearance with projection domain insertions and provides corresponding artifact-free images with the metallic object in the identical location through image domain insertion. This framework has potential to generate robust training libraries for deep learning algorithms and facilitate image quality optimization in interventional CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035001
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ablation probes
  • image quality optimization
  • interventional computed tomography
  • metal artifact
  • metal insertion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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