Effect of Detector Placement on Joint Estimation in X-Ray Fluorescence Emission Tomography

Hadley Debrosse, Ling Jian Meng, Patrick La Rivière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Imaging the spatial distribution of low concentrations of metal is a growing problem of interest with applications in medical and material sciences. X-ray fluorescence emission tomography (XFET) is an emerging metal mapping imaging modality with potential sensitivity improvements and practical advantages over other methods. However, XFET detector placement must first be optimized to ensure accurate metal density quantification and adequate spatial resolution. In this work, we first use singular value decomposition of the imaging model and eigendecomposition of the object-specific Fisher information matrix to study how detector arrangement affects spatial resolution and feature preservation. We then perform joint image reconstructions of a numerical gold phantom. For this phantom, we show that two parallel detectors provide metal quantification with similar accuracy to four detectors, despite the resulting anisotropic spatial resolution in the attenuation map estimate. Two orthogonal detectors provide improved spatial resolution along one axis, but underestimate the metal concentration in distant regions. Therefore, this work demonstrates the minor effect of using fewer, but strategically placed, detectors in the case where detector placement is restricted. This work is a critical investigation into the limitations and capabilities of XFET prior to its translation to preclinical and benchtop uses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Eigendecomposition
  • Fisher information
  • X-ray fluorescence emission tomography (XFET)
  • joint estimation
  • singular value decomposition (SVD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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