Cone beam CT multisource configurations: Evaluating image quality, scatter, and dose using phantom imaging and Monte Carlo simulations

Amy E. Becker, Andrew M. Hernandez, Paul R. Schwoebel, John M. Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare various multisource configurations applied to cone beam CT (CBCT) using phantom imaging and Monte Carlo simulations. Image quality, scatter, and dose were evaluated in both overlapping (large cone angle) and collimated (small cone angle) configurations for CBCT. Four x-ray tube configurations were considered: traditional one source, three source overlapping, six source overlapping, and six source collimated. Image quality was evaluated on a prototype breast CT system using the following five phantoms: a Defrise phantom, a previously reported CBCT QA phantom (Corgi), a polyethylene cylinder, and two anthropomorphic phantoms (hand and knee). Scatter contamination and radiation dose were evaluated using Monte Carlo simulations of a voxelized polyethylene cylinder. The modulation of the Defrise phantom disks on average was 2.7X greater for the six source collimated configuration than the six source overlapping configuration. The data lost from cone beam artifact (spatial domain) and the null cone (frequency domain) in the overlapping configuration were completely recovered using the collimated configuration. The maximum scatter-to-primary ratio (SPR) for the overlapping configuration was 0.81 and the maximum SPR for the collimated configuration was 0.26. The average dose and maximum dose was 4X less in the collimated six source configuration when compared with the overlapping configurations. The maximum dose for the overlapping configurations (one, three & six) remained constant, but the average dose for the multisource (three & six source) overlapping configurations increased 25 when compared to the one source configuration. Use of a collimated multisource x-ray tube configuration was shown to provide significant improvements in image quality throughout the cone-beam geometry field-of-view, reduction in scatter contamination, and more efficient use of dose in comparison to both the traditional CBCT geometry with a single source and the overlapping multisource configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235032
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 25 2020


  • computed tomography
  • cone beam artifact
  • image quality
  • x-ray scatter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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