Combined algorithmic and GPU acceleration for ultra-fast circular conebeam backprojection

Jeffrey Brokish, Paul Sack, Yoram Bresler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this paper, we describe the first implementation and performance of a fast O(N3logN) hierarchical backprojection algorithm for cone beam CT with a circular trajectory1,developed on a modern Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The resulting tomographic backprojection system for 3D cone beam geometry combines speedup through algorithmic improvements provided by the hierarchical backprojection algorithm with speedup from a massively parallel hardware accelerator. For data parameters typical in diagnostic CT and using a mid-range GPU card, we report reconstruction speeds of up to 360 frames per second, and relative speedup of almost 6× compared to conventional backprojection on the same hardware. The significance of these results is twofold. First, they demonstrate that the reduction in operation counts demonstrated previously for the FHBP algorithm can be translated to a comparable run-time improvement in a massively parallel hardware implementation, while preserving stringent diagnostic image quality. Second, the dramatic speedup and throughput numbers achieved indicate the feasibility of systems based on this technology, which achieve real-time 3D reconstruction for state-of-the art diagnostic CT scanners with small footprint, high-reliability, and affordable cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2010
Subtitle of host publicationPhysics of Medical Imaging
EditionPART 3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
EventMedical Imaging 2010: Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 15 2010Feb 18 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
NumberPART 3
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherMedical Imaging 2010: Physics of Medical Imaging
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Circular cone-beam
  • Fast backprojection
  • Hierarchical algorithm
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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