Phase-contrast x-ray computed tomography (CT) is an emerging imaging technique that can be implemented at third-generation synchrotron radiation sources or by using a microfocus x-ray source. Promising results have recently been obtained in materials science and medicine. At the same time, the lack of a mathematical theory comparable with that of conventional CT limits the progress in this field. Such a theory is now suggested, establishing a fundamental relation between the three-dimensional Radon transform of the object function and the two-dimensional Radon transform of the phase-contrast projection. A reconstruction algorithm is derived in the form of a filtered backprojection. The filter function is given in the space and spatial-frequency domains. The theory suggested enables one to quantitatively determine the refractive index of a weakly absorbing medium from x-ray intensity data measured in the near-field region. The results of computer simulations are discussed.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 23, 2001
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: July 25, 2001
Published: March 1, 2002
Andrei V. Bronnikov, "Theory of quantitative phase-contrast computed tomography," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 472-480 (2002)