An evaluation of the stability of image‐quality parameters of Varian on‐board imaging (OBI) and EPID imaging systems
ABSTRACT: Quality assurance (QA) of the image quality for image‐guided localization systems is crucial to ensure accurate visualization and localization of regions of interest within the patient. In this study, the temporal stability of selected image parameters was assessed and evaluated for kV CBCT mode, planar radiographic k V, and MV modes. The motivation of the study was to better characterize the temporal variability in specific image‐quality parameters. The CATPHAN, QckV‐1, and QC‐3 phantoms were used to evaluate the image‐quality parameters of the imaging systems on a Varian Novalis Tx linear accelerator. The planar radiographic images were analyzed in PIPSpro with high‐contrast spatial resolution (f30,f40,f50lp/mm) being recorded. For OBI kV CBCT, high‐quality head full‐fan acquisition and pelvis half‐fan acquisition modes were evaluated for uniformity, noise, spatial resolution, HU constancy, and geometric distortion. Dose and X‐ray energy for the OBI were recorded using the Unfors RaySafe Xi system with the R/F High Detector for kV planar radiographic and the CT detector for kV CBCT. Dose for the MV EPID was recorded using a PTW975 Semiflex ion chamber, PTW UNIDOS electrometer, and CNMC Plastic Water. For each image‐quality parameter, values were normalized to the mean, and the normalized standard deviations were recorded to evaluate the parameter's temporal variability. For planar radiographic modes, the normalized standard deviations of the spatial resolution (f30,f40,& f50) were 0.015, 0.008, 0.004 lp/mm and 0.006, 0.009, 0.018 lp/mm for the kV and MV, respectively. The normalized standard deviation of dose for kV and MV were 0.010 mGy and 0.005 mGy, respectively. The standard deviations for full‐and half‐fan kV CBCT modes were averaged together. The following normalized standard deviations for each kV CBCT parameter were: 0.075 HU (uniformity), 0.071 HU (noise), 0.006 mm (AP‐geometric distortion), 0.005 mm (LAT‐geometric distortion), 0.058 mm (slice thickness), 0.124 (f50), 0.031 (HU constancy – Lung), 0.063 (HU constancy – Water), 0.020 (HU constancy – Bone), 0.006 mGy (Dose – Center), 0.004 mGy (Dose –Periphery). Using control chart analysis, institutional QA tolerances were reported as warning and action thresholds based on 1σ and 2σ thresholds. A study was performed to characterize the stability of image‐quality parameters recommended by AAPM Task Group‐142 for the Varian OBI and EPID imaging systems. Both imaging systems show consistent imaging and dosimetric properties over the evaluated time frame. PACS number: 87.10.‐e
Project description:To evaluate a moving blocker-based approach in estimating and correcting megavoltage (MV) and kilovoltage (kV) scatter contamination in kV cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) acquired during volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT).During the concurrent CBCT/VMAT acquisition, a physical attenuator (i.e., "blocker") consisting of equally spaced lead strips was mounted and moved constantly between the CBCT source and patient. Both kV and MV scatter signals were estimated from the blocked region of the imaging panel, and interpolated into the unblocked region. A scatter corrected CBCT was then reconstructed from the unblocked projections after scatter subtraction using an iterative image reconstruction algorithm based on constraint optimization. Experimental studies were performed on a Catphan® phantom and an anthropomorphic pelvis phantom to demonstrate the feasibility of using a moving blocker for kV-MV scatter correction.Scatter induced cupping artifacts were substantially reduced in the moving blocker corrected CBCT images. Quantitatively, the root mean square error of Hounsfield units (HU) in seven density inserts of the Catphan phantom was reduced from 395 to 40.The proposed moving blocker strategy greatly improves the image quality of CBCT acquired with concurrent VMAT by reducing the kV-MV scatter induced HU inaccuracy and cupping artifacts.
Project description:The aim of this study was to evaluate a dual marker-based and soft-tissue based image guidance for inter-fractional corrections in stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) of prostate cancer.We reviewed 18 patients treated with SBRT for prostate cancer. An endorectal balloon was inserted at simulation and each treatment. Planning margins were 3 mm/0 mm posteriorly. Prior to each treatment, a dual image guidance protocol was applied to align three makers using stereoscopic x ray images and then to the soft tissue using kilo-voltage cone beam CT (kV-CBCT). After treatment, prostate (CTV), rectal wall, and bladder were delineated on each kV-CBCT, and delivered dose was recalculated. Dosimetric endpoints were analyzed, including V36.25 Gy for prostate, and D0.03 cc for bladder and rectal wall.Following initial marker alignment, additional translational shifts were applied to 22 of 84 fractions after kV-CBCT. Among the 22 fractions, ten fractions exceeded 3 mm shifts in any direction, including one in the left-right direction, four in the superior-inferior direction, and five in the anterior-posterior direction. With and without the additional kV-CBCT shifts, the average V36.25 Gy of the prostate for the 22 fractions was 97.6 ± 2.6% with the kV x ray image alone, and was 98.1 ± 2.4% after applying the additional kV-CBCT shifts. The improvement was borderline statistical significance using Wilcoxon signed-rank test (P = 0.007). D0.03 cc was 45.8 ± 6.3 Gy vs. 45.1 ± 4.9 Gy for the rectal wall; and 49.5 ± 8.6 Gy vs. 49.3 ± 7.9 Gy for the bladder before and after applying kV-CBCT shifts.Marker-based alignment alone is not sufficient. Additional adjustments are needed for some patients based kV-CBCT.
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:<h4>Purpose</h4>To assess clinically relevant image quality metrics (IQMs) of helical fan beam kilovoltage (kV) fan beam computed tomography (CT).<h4>Methods and materials</h4>kVCT IQMs were evaluated on an Accuray Radixact unit equipped with helical fan beam kVCT to assess the capabilities of this newly available modality. kVCT IQMs were evaluated and compared to a kVCT simulator and linear accelerator-based cone beam CTs (CBCT) using a commercial CBCT image quality phantom. kVCTs were acquired on the Accuray Radixact for all combinations of kVp and mAs in fine mode using a 440-mm field of view (FOV). Evaluated IQMs were spatial resolution, overall uniformity, subject contrast, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), and effective slice thickness. Imaging dose was assessed for planar kV imaging.<h4>Results</h4>On this kVCT system spatial resolution and contrast were consistent across all settings with 0.28 ± 0.03 lp/mm and 9.8% ± 0.7% (both 95% confidence interval). CNR strongly depended on selected mode (views per rotation) and body size (mA per view) and ranged between 7.9 and 34.9. Overall uniformity was greater than 97% for all settings. Large FOV was not found to substantially affect the IQMs whereas small FOV affected IQMs due to its effect on pitch. Technique-matched CT simulator scans were comparable for uniformity and contrast, while spatial resolution was higher (0.43 ± 0.06 lp/mm), and CNR was between 4% (140 kVp) and 51% (100 kVp) lower. For kV-CBCT, spatial resolutions ranging from 0.37 to 0.44 lp/mm were achieved with comparable contrast, CNR, and uniformity to kVCT. All kVCT scans exhibit imaging artifacts due to helical acquisition. Clinical acquisitions of megavoltage (MV) CT, kV-CBCT, and kVCT on the same patient showed improved and comparable image quality of kVCT compared to MVCT and kV-CBCT, respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Helical fan beam kVCT allows for daily image guidance for localization and setup verification with comparable performance to existing kV-CBCT systems. Scan parameters must be selected carefully to maximize image quality for the desired tasks. Due to the large effective slice thicknesses for all parameter combinations, kVCT scans should not be used for simulation or planning of stereotactic procedures. Finally, improved image quality over MVCT has the potential to greatly improve manual and automated adaptive monitoring and planning.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>To evaluate and compare surface doses of a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and a multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) device in pediatric ankle and wrist phantoms.<h4>Methods</h4>Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) were used to measure and compare surface doses between CBCT and MDCT in a left ankle and a right wrist pediatric phantom. In both modalities adapted pediatric dose protocols were utilized to achieve realistic imaging conditions. All measurements were repeated three times to prove test-retest reliability. Additionally, objective and subjective image quality parameters were assessed.<h4>Results</h4>Average surface doses were 3.8 ±2.1 mGy for the ankle, and 2.2 ±1.3 mGy for the wrist in CBCT. The corresponding surface doses in optimized MDCT were 4.5 ±1.3 mGy for the ankle, and 3.4 ±0.7 mGy for the wrist. Overall, mean surface dose was significantly lower in CBCT (3.0 ±1.9 mGy vs. 3.9 ±1.2 mGy, p<0.001). Subjectively rated general image quality was not significantly different between the study protocols (p = 0.421), whereas objectively measured image quality parameters were in favor of CBCT (p<0.001).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Adapted extremity CBCT imaging protocols have the potential to fall below optimized pediatric ankle and wrist MDCT doses at comparable image qualities. These possible dose savings warrant further development and research in pediatric extremity CBCT applications.
Project description:Methods of reducing respiratory motion blurring in cone-beam CT (CBCT) have been limited to lung where soft tissue contrast is large. Respiration-correlated cone-beam CT uses slow continuous gantry rotation but image quality is limited by uneven projection spacing. This study investigates the efficacy of a novel gated CBCT technique.In gated CBCT, the linac is programmed such that gantry rotation and kV image acquisition occur within a gate around end expiration and are triggered by an external respiratory monitor. Standard CBCT and gated CBCT scans are performed in 22 patients (11 thoracic, 11 abdominal) and a respiration-correlated CT (RCCT) scan, acquired on a standard CT scanner, from the same day serves as a criterion standard. Image quality is compared by calculating contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) for tumors in lung, gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) tissue, and pancreas tissue, relative to surrounding background tissue. Congruence between the object in the CBCT images and that in the RCCT is measured by calculating the optimized normalized cross-correlation (NCC) following CBCT-to-RCCT rigid registrations.Gated CBCT results in reduced motion artifacts relative to standard CBCT, with better visualization of tumors in lung, and of abdominal organs including GEJ, pancreas, and organs at risk. CNR of lung tumors is larger in gated CBCT in 6 of 11 cases relative to standard CBCT. A paired two-tailed t-test of lung patient mean CNR shows no statistical significance (p = 0.133). In 4 of 5 cases where CNR is not increased, lung tumor motion observed in RCCT is small (range 1.3-5.2 mm). CNR is increased and becomes statistically significant for 6 out of 7 lung patients with > 5 mm tumor motion (p = 0.044). CNR is larger in gated CBCT in 5 of 7 GEJ cases and 3 of 4 pancreas cases (p = 0.082 and 0.192). Gated CBCT yields improvement with lower NCC relative to standard CBCT in 10 of 11, 7 of 7, and 3 of 4 patients for lung, GEJ, and pancreas images, respectively (p = 0.0014, 0.0030, 0.165).Gated CBCT reduces image blurring caused by respiratory motion. The gated gantry rotation yields uniformly and closely spaced projections resulting in improved reconstructed image quality. The technique is shown to be applicable to abdominal sites, where image contrast of soft tissues is low.
Project description:The purpose of this study is to adapt an equivalent source model originally developed for conventional CT Monte Carlo dose quantification to the radiation oncology context and validate its application for evaluating concomitant dose incurred by a kilovoltage (kV) cone-beam CT (CBCT) system integrated into a linear accelerator.In order to properly characterize beams from the integrated kV CBCT system, the authors have adapted a previously developed equivalent source model consisting of an equivalent spectrum module that takes into account intrinsic filtration and an equivalent filter module characterizing the added bowtie filtration. An equivalent spectrum was generated for an 80, 100, and 125 kVp beam with beam energy characterized by half-value layer measurements. An equivalent filter description was generated from bowtie profile measurements for both the full- and half-bowtie. Equivalent source models for each combination of equivalent spectrum and filter were incorporated into the Monte Carlo software package MCNPX. Monte Carlo simulations were then validated against in-phantom measurements for both the radiographic and CBCT mode of operation of the kV CBCT system. Radiographic and CBCT imaging dose was measured for a variety of protocols at various locations within a body (32 cm in diameter) and head (16 cm in diameter) CTDI phantom. The in-phantom radiographic and CBCT dose was simulated at all measurement locations and converted to absolute dose using normalization factors calculated from air scan measurements and corresponding simulations. The simulated results were compared with the physical measurements and their discrepancies were assessed quantitatively.Strong agreement was observed between in-phantom simulations and measurements. For the radiographic protocols, simulations uniformly underestimated measurements by 0.54%-5.14% (mean difference = -3.07%, SD = 1.60%). For the CBCT protocols, simulations uniformly underestimated measurements by 1.35%-5.31% (mean difference = -3.42%, SD = 1.09%).This work demonstrates the feasibility of using a measurement-based kV CBCT source model to facilitate dose calculations with Monte Carlo methods for both the radiographic and CBCT mode of operation. While this initial work validates simulations against measurements for simple geometries, future work will involve utilizing the source model to investigate kV CBCT dosimetry with more complex anthropomorphic phantoms and patient specific models.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4> Our purpose was to optimize an image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) workflow to achieve practical setup accuracy in spine stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). We assessed the time-saving efficiencies gained from incorporating planar kV midimaging as a surrogate for cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for intrafraction motion monitoring. <h4>Methods and Materials</h4> We selected 5 thoracic spine SBRT patients treated in 5 fractions and analyzed patient shifts captured by a modified IGRT workflow using planar kV midimaging integrated with CBCT to maintain a tolerance of 1 mm and 1°. We determined the frequency at which kV midimaging captured intrafraction motion as validated on repeat CBCT and assessed the potential time and dosimetric advantages of our modified IGRT workflow. <h4>Results</h4> Patient motion, detected as out-of-tolerance shifts on planar kV midimaging, occurred during 6 of 25 fractions (24%) and were validated on repeat CBCT 100% of the time. Observed intrafraction absolute shifts (mean ± standard deviation) for the 25 fractions were 0.39 ± 0.21, 0.56 ± 0.22, and 0.45 ± 0.21 mm for lateral-longitude-vertical translations and 0.38 ± 0.12°, 0.32 ± 0.09°, and 0.47 ± 0.14° for pitch-roll-yaw rotation, which if uncorrected, could have significantly affected target coverage and increased spinal cord dose. The average times for pretreatment imaging, midtreatment verification, and total treatment time were 8.94, 2.81, and 16.21 minutes. Our modified IGRT workflow reduced the total number of CBCTs required from 120 to 35 (70%) and imaging dose from 126.2 to 43.4 cGy (65.6%) while maintaining high fidelity for our patient population. <h4>Conclusions</h4> Accurate patient positioning was effectively achieved with use of multiple 2-dimensional-3-dimensional kV images and an average of 1 verification CBCT scan per fraction. Integration of planar kV midimaging can effectively reduce treatment time associated with spine SBRT delivery and minimize the potential dosimetric effect of intrafraction motion on target coverage and spinal cord dose.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To identify a dose as low as diagnostically acceptable and a threshold level of image quality for cone beam CT (CBCT) imaging root canals, using maxillary first molar (M1M) second mesiobuccal (MB2) canals of varying complexity for two CBCT scanners. METHODS:Dose-area product (DAP) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were measured for two scanners at a range of exposure parameters. Subjective-image-quality assessment at the same exposures was performed for three M1Ms of varying MB2 complexity, positioned in an anthropomorphic phantom. Nine raters (three endodontists, three dental radiologists and three junior staff) assessed canal visibility, using a 5-point confidence scale rating. RESULTS:Identification of simple-moderate MB2 canal complexity was achieved at a range of protocols, with DAP values of ≥209.3 and ≥203.2 mGy cm² and CNRs of 3 and 7.6 for Promax®3D and Accuitomo-F170® respectively. For complex canal anatomy, target subjective image quality was not achieved, even at the highest DAP values for both scanners. Junior staff classified significantly more images as undiagnostic compared with senior staff (p = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS:In this first study to address optimisation of CBCT imaging of root canal anatomy, a similar threshold dose for both scanners was identified for M1Ms with simple-moderate MB2 canal complexity. Increasing dose to enhance visualisation of more complex canal anatomy was ineffective. Selection of standard protocols (while avoiding lower kV/mA protocols) instead of high-resolution scans was a practical means of reducing patient dose. CNR is not a transferable measure of image quality.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Adaptive proton therapy (APT) of lung cancer patients requires frequent volumetric imaging of diagnostic quality. Cone-beam CT (CBCT) can provide these daily images, but x-ray scattering limits CBCT-image quality and hampers dose calculation accuracy. The purpose of this study was to generate CBCT-based synthetic CTs using a deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) and investigate image quality and clinical suitability for proton dose calculations in lung cancer patients.<h4>Methods</h4>A dataset of 33 thoracic cancer patients, containing CBCTs, same-day repeat CTs (rCT), planning-CTs (pCTs), and clinical proton treatment plans, was used to train and evaluate a DCNN with and without a pCT-based correction method. Mean absolute error (MAE), mean error (ME), peak signal-to-noise ratio, and structural similarity were used to quantify image quality. The evaluation of clinical suitability was based on recalculation of clinical proton treatment plans. Gamma pass ratios, mean dose to target volumes and organs at risk, and normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCP) were calculated. Furthermore, proton radiography simulations were performed to assess the HU-accuracy of sCTs in terms of range errors.<h4>Results</h4>On average, sCTs without correction resulted in a MAE of 34 ± 6 HU and ME of 4 ± 8 HU. The correction reduced the MAE to 31 ± 4HU (ME to 2 ± 4HU). Average 3%/3 mm gamma pass ratios increased from 93.7% to 96.8%, when the correction was applied. The patient specific correction reduced mean proton range errors from 1.5 to 1.1 mm. Relative mean target dose differences between sCTs and rCT were below ± 0.5% for all patients and both synthetic CTs (with/without correction). NTCP values showed high agreement between sCTs and rCT (<2%).<h4>Conclusion</h4>CBCT-based sCTs can enable accurate proton dose calculations for APT of lung cancer patients. The patient specific correction method increased the image quality and dosimetric accuracy but had only a limited influence on clinically relevant parameters.