Impact of prior information on material decomposition in dual- and multienergy computed tomography

Liqiang Ren, Shengzhen Tao, Kishore Rajendran, Cynthia H. McCollough, Lifeng Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Prior information is often included in the basis material decomposition to solve the quantification problem of three-material mixtures in dual-energy computed tomography (DECT). Multienergy computed tomography (MECT) with more than two energy bins can provide a sufficient solution to this problem without invoking additional prior information. However, a question remains as to whether the prior information should still be included in the material decomposition process using MECT to improve the quantification accuracy and control noise amplification. This study aims to evaluate the impact of the prior information on noise and quantification bias in both DECT and MECT. The material decomposition tasks we used in this study are to quantify water/iodine, water/iodine/gadolinium, and water/ iodine/calcium in two- and three-material decompositions, under the assumption that the object to be decomposed consists of the basis materials and their mixtures. We performed phantom simulation and experimental studies using a clinical DECT system and a research photon-counting-detector-based MECT system. Results in the current phantom studies show that the prior information can still improve the noise performance without substantially affecting the basis material quantitative accuracy during the material decomposition process, even when the number of x-ray energy beams/bins is equal or greater than the number of basis materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013503
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • dual-energy computed tomography
  • material decomposition
  • multienergy computed tomography
  • photon-counting-detector computed tomography
  • prior information
  • volume conservation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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