Photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT), also known as optoacoustic tomography, is an emerging imaging technique that holds great promise for biomedical imaging. PACT is a hybrid imaging method that can exploit the strong endogenous contrast of optical methods along with the high spatial resolution of ultrasound methods. In its canonical form that is addressed in this article, PACT seeks to estimate the photoacoustically-induced initial pressure distribution within the object. Image reconstruction methods are employed to solve the acoustic inverse problem associated with the image formation process. When an idealized imaging scenario is considered, analytic solutions to the PACT inverse problem are available; however, in practice, numerous challenges exist that are more readily addressed within an optimization-based, or iterative, image reconstruction framework. In this article, the PACT image reconstruction problem is reviewed within the context of modern optimization-based image reconstruction methodologies. Imaging models that relate the measured photoacoustic wavefields to the sought-after object function are described in their continuous and discrete forms. The basic principles of optimization-based image reconstruction from discrete PACT measurement data are presented, which includes a review of methods for modeling the PACT measurement system response and other important physical factors. Non-conventional formulations of the PACT image reconstruction problem, in which acoustic parameters of the medium are concurrently estimated along with the PACT image, are also introduced and reviewed.
- image reconstruction
- inverse problem
- joint reconstruction
- photoacoustic tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging