Effect of phantom voxelization in CT simulations

Andrew L. Goertzen, Freek J. Beekman, Simon R Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


In computer simulations of x-ray CT systems one can either use continuous geometrical descriptions for phantoms or a voxelized representation. The voxelized approach allows arbitrary phantoms to be defined without being confined to geometrical shapes. The disadvantage of the voxelized approach is that inherent errors are introduced due to the phantom voxelization. To study effects of phantom discretization, analytical CT simulations were run for a fan-beam geometry with phantom voxel sizes ranging from 0.0625 to 2 times the reconstructed pixel size and noise levels corresponding to 103-107 photons per detector pixel prior to attenuation. The number of rays traced per detector element was varied from 1 to 16. Differences in the filtered backprojection images caused by changing the phantom matrix sizes and number of rays traced were assessed by calculating the difference between reconstructions based on the finest matrix and coarser matrix simulations. In noise free simulations, all phantom matrix sizes produced a measurable difference in comparison with the finest phantom matrix used. When even a small amount of noise was added to the projection data, the differences due to the phantom discretization were masked by the noise, and in all cases there was almost no improvement by using a phantom matrix that was more than twice as fine as the reconstruction matrix. No substantial improvement was achieved by tracing more than 4 rays per detector pixel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-498
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Artifacts
  • Computed tomography
  • CT image quality
  • Phantom study
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of phantom voxelization in CT simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this