Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics





Inclusive Pages





Algorithms; Humans; Imaging, Three-Dimensional; Phantoms, Imaging; Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed; Tomography, X-Ray Computed


Increasingly, the advent of multislice CT scanners, volume CT scanners, and total body spiral acquisition modes has led to the use of Multi Planar Reconstruction and 3D datasets. In considering 3D resolution properties of a CT system it is important to note that both the in-plane (x,y) and z-axis (slice thickness) influence the visual-ization and detection of objects within the scanned volume. This study investigates ways to consider both the in-plane resolution and the z-axis resolution in a single phantom wherein analytic or visualized analysis can yield information on these combined effects. A new phantom called the "Wave Phantom" is developed that can be used to sample the 3D resolution properties of a CT image, including in-plane (x,y) and z-axis information. The key development in this Wave Phantom is the incorporation of a z-axis aspect of a more traditional step (bar) resolution gauge phantom. The phantom can be examined visually wherein a cutoff level may be seen; and/or the analytic analysis of the various characteristics of the waveform profile by including amplitude, frequency, and slope (rate of climb) of the peaks, can be extracted from the Wave Pattern using mathematical analysis such as the Fourier transform. The combined effect of changes in in-plane resolution and z-axis (thickness), are shown, as well as the effect of changes in either in-plane resolu-tion, or z-axis thickness. Examples of visual images of the Wave pattern as well as the analytic characteristics of the various harmonics of a periodic Wave pattern resulting from changes in resolution filter and/or slice thickness, and position in the field of view are shown. The Wave Phantom offers a promising way to investigate 3D resolution results from combined effect of in-plane (x-y) and z-axis resolution as contrasted to the use of simple 2D resolution gauges that need to be used with separate measures of z-axis dependency, such as angled ramps. It offers both a visual pattern as well as a pattern amenable to analytic analysis using Fourier Transform methods, and is believed to offer an image quality test closer to the diagnostic task where the 2D image has the hidden third (z) axis effects.


Reproduced with permission of John Wiley & Sons. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Peer Reviewed


Open Access