Measurement of breast tissue composition with dual energy cone-beam computed tomography: a postmortem study.
ABSTRACT: To investigate the feasibility of a three-material compositional measurement of water, lipid, and protein content of breast tissue with dual kVp cone-beam computed tomography (CT) for diagnostic purposes.Simulations were performed on a flat panel-based computed tomography system with a dual kVp technique in order to guide the selection of experimental acquisition parameters. The expected errors induced by using the proposed calibration materials were also estimated by simulation. Twenty pairs of postmortem breast samples were imaged with a flat-panel based dual kVp cone-beam CT system, followed by image-based material decomposition using calibration data obtained from a three-material phantom consisting of water, vegetable oil, and polyoxymethylene plastic. The tissue samples were then chemically decomposed into their respective water, lipid, and protein contents after imaging to allow direct comparison with data from dual energy decomposition.Guided by results from simulation, the beam energies for the dual kVp cone-beam CT system were selected to be 50 and 120 kVp with the mean glandular dose divided equally between each exposure. The simulation also suggested that the use of polyoxymethylene as the calibration material for the measurement of pure protein may introduce an error of -11.0%. However, the tissue decomposition experiments, which employed a calibration phantom made out of water, oil, and polyoxymethylene, exhibited strong correlation with data from the chemical analysis. The average root-mean-square percentage error for water, lipid, and protein contents was 3.58% as compared with chemical analysis.The results of this study suggest that the water, lipid, and protein contents can be accurately measured using dual kVp cone-beam CT. The tissue compositional information may improve the sensitivity and specificity for breast cancer diagnosis.
Project description:To investigate the feasibility of breast tissue composition in terms of water, lipid, and protein with a cadmium-zinc-telluride (CZT) based computed tomography (CT) system to help better characterize suspicious lesions.Simulations and experimental studies were performed using a spectral CT system equipped with a CZT-based photon-counting detector with energy resolution. Simulations of the figure-of-merit (FOM), the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the dual energy image with respect to the square root of mean glandular dose (MGD), were performed to find the optimal configuration of the experimental acquisition parameters. A calibration phantom 3.175 cm in diameter was constructed from polyoxymethylene plastic with cylindrical holes that were filled with water and oil. Similarly, sized samples of pure adipose and pure lean bovine tissues were used for the three-material decomposition. Tissue composition results computed from the images were compared to the chemical analysis data of the tissue samples.The beam energy was selected to be 100 kVp with a splitting energy of 40 keV. The tissue samples were successfully decomposed into water, lipid, and protein contents. The RMS error of the volumetric percentage for the three-material decomposition, as compared to data from the chemical analysis, was estimated to be approximately 5.7%.The results of this study suggest that the CZT-based photon-counting detector may be employed in the CT system to quantify the water, lipid, and protein mass densities in tissue with a relatively good agreement.
Project description:To provide initial assessment of image quality and dose for a cone-beam computed tomographic (CT) scanner dedicated to extremity imaging.A prototype cone-beam CT scanner has been developed for imaging the extremities, including the weight-bearing lower extremities. Initial technical assessment included evaluation of radiation dose measured as a function of kilovolt peak and tube output (in milliampere seconds), contrast resolution assessed in terms of the signal difference-to-noise ratio (SDNR), spatial resolution semiquantitatively assessed by using a line-pair module from a phantom, and qualitative evaluation of cadaver images for potential diagnostic value and image artifacts by an expert CT observer (musculoskeletal radiologist).The dose for a nominal scan protocol (80 kVp, 108 mAs) was 9 mGy (absolute dose measured at the center of a CT dose index phantom). SDNR was maximized with the 80-kVp scan technique, and contrast resolution was sufficient for visualization of muscle, fat, ligaments and/or tendons, cartilage joint space, and bone. Spatial resolution in the axial plane exceeded 15 line pairs per centimeter. Streaks associated with x-ray scatter (in thicker regions of the patient--eg, the knee), beam hardening (about cortical bone--eg, the femoral shaft), and cone-beam artifacts (at joint space surfaces oriented along the scanning plane--eg, the interphalangeal joints) presented a slight impediment to visualization. Cadaver images (elbow, hand, knee, and foot) demonstrated excellent visibility of bone detail and good soft-tissue visibility suitable to a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal indications.A dedicated extremity cone-beam CT scanner capable of imaging upper and lower extremities (including weight-bearing examinations) provides sufficient image quality and favorable dose characteristics to warrant further evaluation for clinical use.
Project description:The purposes of this study is to measure the low frequency drop (LFD) of the modulation transfer function (MTF), associated with the long tails of the detector point spread function (PSF) of an on-board flat panel imager and study its impact on cone-beam CT (CBCT) image quality and scatter measurement accuracy.Two different experimental methods were used to characterize LFD and its associated PSF of a Varian OBI flat-panel detector system: the edge response function (ERF) method and the disk transfer function (DTF) method. PSF was estimated by fitting parametric models to these measurements for four values of the applied voltage (kVp). The resultant PSF was used to demonstrate the effect of LFD on image contrast and CT number accuracy in CBCT images reconstructed from synthetic datasets, as well as, accuracy of scatter measurements with the beam-stop method.The MTFs derived from the measured ERF data revealed LFDs varying from 8% (at 60 kVp) to 10.5% (at 120 kVp), while the intensity of the long PSF tails was found to increase with increasing kVp. The veiling glare line spread functions derived from the ERF and DTF methods were in excellent agreement. Uncorrected veiling glare reduced contrast and the image intensity in CBCT reconstruction, near the phantom periphery (by 67 Hounsfield units in a 20 cm-in-diameter water phantom) and (to a smaller degree) near inhomogeneities. Use of the bow-tie filter mitigated these effects. Veiling glare also resulted in about 10%-15% overestimation of the scatter-to-primary ratio when measured with the beam-stop or beam-stop array method.The long tails of the detector PSF were found to have a modest dependence of beam spectrum, which is reflected on the MTF curve LFD. Our findings show that uncorrected veiling glare can affect quantitative accuracy and contrast in CBCT imaging, based on flat panel imager. In addition, it results in overestimation of the scatter-to-primary ratio, measured with the beam-stop methods.
Project description:To investigate whether C-arm dual-phase cone-beam computed tomography (CT) performed during transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) with doxorubicin-eluting beads can help predict tumor response at 1-month follow-up in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).This prospective study was compliant with HIPAA and approved by the institutional review board and animal care and use committee. Analysis was performed retrospectively on 50 targeted HCC lesions in 29 patients (16 men, 13 women; mean age, 61.9 years ± 10.7) treated with TACE with drug-eluting beads. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed at baseline and 1 month after TACE. Dual-phase cone-beam CT was performed before and after TACE. Tumor enhancement at dual-phase cone-beam CT in early arterial and delayed venous phases was assessed retrospectively with blinding to MR findings. Tumor response at MR imaging was assessed according to European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) guidelines. Two patients were excluded from analysis because dual-phase cone-beam CT scans were not interpretable. Logistic regression models for correlated data were used to compare changes in tumor enhancement between modalities. The radiation dose with dual-phase cone-beam CT was measured in one pig.At 1-month MR imaging follow-up, complete and/or partial tumor response was seen in 74% and 76% of lesions in the arterial and venous phases, respectively. Paired t tests used to compare images obtained before and after TACE showed a significant reduction in tumor enhancement with both modalities (P < .0001). The decrease in tumor enhancement seen with dual-phase cone-beam CT after TACE showed a linear correlation with MR findings. Estimated correlation coefficients were excellent for first (R = 0.89) and second (R = 0.82) phases. A significant relationship between tumor enhancement at cone-beam CT after TACE and complete and/or partial tumor response at MR imaging was found for arterial (odds ratio, 0.95; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.91, 0.99; P = .023) and venous (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% CI: 0.93, 0.99; P = .035) phases with the multivariate logistic regression model. Radiation dose for two dual-phase cone-beam CT scans was 3.08 mSv.Intraprocedural C-arm dual-phase cone-beam CT can be used immediately after TACE with doxorubicin-eluting beads to predict HCC tumor response at 1-month MR imaging follow-up.
Project description:New methods of dosimetry in computed tomography (CT) X-ray fields require the use of high-resolution detectors instead of pencil-type ionization chambers typically used for CT dose index (CTDI) measurements. This paper presents a study on the suitability of a wide range of ionization chambers, diodes, and a two-dimensional detector array, used primarily in radiation therapy, for CT and cone-beam CT dosimetry. Specifically, the energy dependence of these detectors from 50 kVp up to 125 kVp is reported. All measurements were performed in reference to a calibrated diode for use in this energy region. The radiation quality correction factors provided by the manufacturer were used, depending on the measured half-value layer (HVL) for the particular X-ray beam. Our study demonstrated the general usability of thimble ionization chambers. These thimble ionization chambers showed a maximum variation in energy response of 5%. Ionization chambers with even smaller sensitive volume, and which exhibit similar variation in energy dependence, can be used if higher spatial resolution is required. Furthermore, the investigated detectors are better suited for dosimetry at CT and CBCT units than conventional large volume or flat detectors, due to their rotational symmetry. Nevertheless, a flat detector can be used for certain measurement tasks, such as the acquisition of percent depth-dose curves or beam profiles for nonrotating beams, which are important for beam characterization.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To compare contrast-to-noise ratios (CNRs) and iodine discrimination thresholds on iodine maps derived from dual energy CT (DECT) and subtraction CT (SCT). METHODS:A contrast-detail phantom experiment was performed with 2 to 15 mm diameter tubes containing water or iodinated contrast concentrations ranging from 0.5 mg/mL to 20 mg/mL. DECT scans were acquired at 100 kVp and at 140 kVp+Sn filtration. SCT scans were acquired at 100 kVp. Iodine maps were created by material decomposition (DECT) or by subtraction of water scans from iodine scans (SCT). Matched exposure levels varied from 8 to 15 mGy. Iodine discrimination thresholds (Cr) and response times were determined by eight observers. RESULTS:The adjusted mean CNR was 1.9 times higher for SCT than for DECT. Exposure level had no effect on CNR. All observers discriminated all details ?10 mm at 12 and 15 mGy. For sub-centimetre details, the lowest calculated Cr was ? 0.50 mg/mL for SCT and 0.64 mg/mL for DECT. The smallest detail was discriminated at ?4.4 mg/mL with SCT and at ?7.4 mg/mL with DECT. Response times were lower for SCT than DECT. CONCLUSIONS:SCT results in higher CNR and reduced iodine discrimination thresholds compared to DECT for sub-centimetre details. KEY POINTS:• Subtraction CT iodine maps exhibit higher CNR than dual-energy iodine maps • Lower iodine concentrations can be discriminated for sub-cm details with SCT • Response times are lower using SCT compared to dual-energy CT.
Project description:For accurate dose calculations, it is necessary to provide a correct relationship between the CT numbers and electron density in radiotherapy treatment planning systems (TPSs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the energy dependence of measured CT numbers on substituted materials used for CT number calibration of radiotherapy TPSs and the resulting errors in the treatment planning calculation doses.In this study, we designed a cylindrical water phantom with different materials used as tissue equivalent materials for the simulation of tissues and obtaining the related CT numbers. For evaluating the effect of CT number variations of substituted materials due to energy changing of scanner (kVp) on the dose calculation of TPS, the slices of the scanned phantom at three kVp's were imported into the desired TPSs (MIRS and CorePLAN). Dose calculations were performed on two TPSs.The mean absolute percentage differences between the CT numbers of CT scanner and two treatment planning systems for all the samples were 3.22%±2.57% for CorePLAN and 2.88%±2.11% for MIRS. It was also found that the maximum absolute percentage difference between all of the calculated doses from each photon beam of linac (6 and 15 MV) at three kVp's was less than 1.2%.The present study revealed that, for the materials with effective low atomic number, the mean CT number increased with increasing energy, which was opposite for the materials with an effective high atomic number. We concluded that the tissue substitute materials had a different behavior in the energy ranges from 80 to 130 kVp. So, it is necessary to consider the energy dependence of the substitute materials used for the measurement or calibration of CT number for radiotherapy treatment planning systems.
Project description:Small animal research allows detailed study of biological processes, disease progression and response to therapy with the potential to provide a natural bridge to the clinical environment. The small animal radiation research platform (SARRP) is a portable system for precision irradiation with beam sizes down to approximately 0.5 mm and optimally planned radiation with on-board cone-beam CT (CBCT) guidance. This paper focuses on the geometric calibration of the system for high-precision irradiation. A novel technique for the calibration of the treatment beam is presented, which employs an x-ray camera whose precise positioning need not be known. Using the camera system we acquired a digitally reconstructed 3D 'star shot' for gantry calibration and then developed a technique to align each beam to a common isocenter with the robotic animal positioning stages. The calibration incorporates localization by cone-beam CT guidance. Uncorrected offsets of the beams with respect to the calibration origin ranged from 0.4 mm to 5.2 mm. With corrections, these alignment errors can be reduced to the sub-millimeter range. The calibration technique was used to deliver a stereotactic-like arc treatment to a phantom constructed with EBT Gafchromic films. All beams were shown to intersect at a common isocenter with a measured beam (FWHM) of approximately 1.07 mm using the 0.5 mm collimated beam. The desired positioning accuracy of the SARRP is 0.25 mm and the results indicate an accuracy of 0.2 mm. To fully realize the radiation localization capabilities of the SARRP, precise geometric calibration is required, as with any such system. The x-ray camera-based technique presented here provides a straightforward and semi-automatic method for system calibration.
Project description:Cone-beam CT (CBCT) with a flat-panel detector (FPD) is finding application in areas such as breast and musculoskeletal imaging, where dual-energy (DE) capabilities offer potential benefit. The authors investigate the accuracy of material classification in DE CBCT using filtered backprojection (FBP) and penalized likelihood (PL) reconstruction and optimize contrast-enhanced DE CBCT of the joints as a function of dose, material concentration, and detail size.Phantoms consisting of a 15 cm diameter water cylinder with solid calcium inserts (50-200 mg/ml, 3-28.4 mm diameter) and solid iodine inserts (2-10 mg/ml, 3-28.4 mm diameter), as well as a cadaveric knee with intra-articular injection of iodine were imaged on a CBCT bench with a Varian 4343 FPD. The low energy (LE) beam was 70 kVp (+0.2 mm Cu), and the high energy (HE) beam was 120 kVp (+0.2 mm Cu, +0.5 mm Ag). Total dose (LE+HE) was varied from 3.1 to 15.6 mGy with equal dose allocation. Image-based DE classification involved a nearest distance classifier in the space of LE versus HE attenuation values. Recognizing the differences in noise between LE and HE beams, the LE and HE data were differentially filtered (in FBP) or regularized (in PL). Both a quadratic (PLQ) and a total-variation penalty (PLTV) were investigated for PL. The performance of DE CBCT material discrimination was quantified in terms of voxelwise specificity, sensitivity, and accuracy.Noise in the HE image was primarily responsible for classification errors within the contrast inserts, whereas noise in the LE image mainly influenced classification in the surrounding water. For inserts of diameter 28.4 mm, DE CBCT reconstructions were optimized to maximize the total combined accuracy across the range of calcium and iodine concentrations, yielding values of ∼ 88% for FBP and PLQ, and ∼ 95% for PLTV at 3.1 mGy total dose, increasing to ∼ 95% for FBP and PLQ, and ∼ 98% for PLTV at 15.6 mGy total dose. For a fixed iodine concentration of 5 mg/ml and reconstructions maximizing overall accuracy across the range of insert diameters, the minimum diameter classified with accuracy >80% was ∼ 15 mm for FBP and PLQ and ∼ 10 mm for PLTV, improving to ∼ 7 mm for FBP and PLQ and ∼ 3 mm for PLTV at 15.6 mGy. The results indicate similar performance for FBP and PLQ and showed improved classification accuracy with edge-preserving PLTV. A slight preference for increased smoothing of the HE data was found. DE CBCT discrimination of iodine and bone in the knee was demonstrated with FBP and PLTV at 6.2 mGy total dose.For iodine concentrations >5 mg/ml and detail size ∼ 20 mm, material classification accuracy of >90% was achieved in DE CBCT with both FBP and PL at total doses <10 mGy. Optimal performance was attained by selection of reconstruction parameters based on the differences in noise between HE and LE data, typically favoring stronger smoothing of the HE data, and by using penalties matched to the imaging task (e.g., edge-preserving PLTV in areas of uniform enhancement).
Project description:The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of dual-layer spectral detector CT (SDCT) for the quantification of clinically encountered gadolinium concentrations.The cardiac chamber of an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom was equipped with 14 tubular inserts containing different gadolinium concentrations, ranging from 0 to 26.3 mg/mL (0.0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.1, 10.6, 15.7, 20.7 and 26.3 mg/mL). Images were acquired using a novel 64-detector row SDCT system at 120 and 140 kVp. Acquisitions were repeated five times to assess reproducibility. Regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn on three slices per insert. A spectral plot was extracted for every ROI and mean attenuation profiles were fitted to known attenuation profiles of water and pure gadolinium using in-house-developed software to calculate gadolinium concentrations.At both 120 and 140 kVp, excellent correlations between scan repetitions and true and measured gadolinium concentrations were found (R > 0.99, P < 0.001; ICCs > 0.99, CI 0.99-1.00). Relative mean measurement errors stayed below 10% down to 2.0 mg/mL true gadolinium concentration at 120 kVp and below 5% down to 1.0 mg/mL true gadolinium concentration at 140 kVp.SDCT allows for accurate quantification of gadolinium at both 120 and 140 kVp. Lowest measurement errors were found for 140 kVp acquisitions.• Gadolinium quantification may be useful in patients with contraindication to iodine. • Dual-layer spectral detector CT allows for overall accurate quantification of gadolinium. • Interscan variability of gadolinium quantification using SDCT material decomposition is excellent.