Experimental determination of section sensitivity profiles and image noise in electron beam computed tomography

Cynthia H. McCollough, Kalpana M. Kanal, Nicholas Lannutti, Kelly J. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To determine the effect of continuous-volume scanning (CVS) on z-axis resolution, section sensitivity profiles were measured on an electron beam computed tomography (CT) scanner and compared with those obtained using the step-volume scanning (SVS) mode. A steel bead was imaged using different scan parameters, and the mean CT number over the bead was plotted against the z- axis position to determine section sensitivity profiles. From these profiles, full width at half maximum (FWHM), full width at tenth maximum (FWTM), and full width at tenth area (FWTA) were calculated. A uniform water phantom was imaged to measure noise. To determine the visual significance of changes in the section sensitivity profile, a section thickness and contiguity phantom was imaged. All section sensitivity profiles measured had an FWHM value within 0.5 mm of the nominal scan width. The FWTM and FWTA values increased with the CVS mode compared with the SVS mode. This broadening of the section sensitivity profiles was most significant with larger collimator widths. However, use of smaller collimator widths increased image noise. When all other parameters remained constant, increasing the exposure time to reduce image noise did not affect the section sensitivity profile. The CVS mode produced wider section sensitivity profiles than the SVS mode. This effect was minimized when the smallest collimator width was used, but at the expense of increased image noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • CT image quality
  • CT physics
  • Electron beam CT
  • Spiral CT technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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