Volume 32, Issue 9, September 2005
- radiation therapy physics
- radiation imaging physics
- radiation measurement physics
- magnetic resonance imaging
- nuclear medicine physics
- optical measurement physics
- ultrasound physics
- thermotherapy physics
- anatomy and physiology
- non-ionizing radiation physics
- radiation protection physics
- ph.d. theses abstracts
Index of content:
Deployment of a maintenance of certification program in medical physics serves the interest of the profession and the public32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2006108View Description Hide Description
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
Brachytherapy source characterization for improved dose calculations using primary and scatter dose separation32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1949767View Description Hide Description
In brachytherapy, tissue heterogeneities, source shielding, and finite patient/phantom extensions affect both the primary and scatterdose distributions. The primary dose is, due to the short range of secondary electrons, dependent only on the distribution of material located on the ray line between the source and dose deposition site. The scatterdose depends on both the direct irradiation pattern and the distribution of material in a large volume surrounding the point of interest, i.e., a much larger volume must be included in calculations to integrate many small dose contributions. It is therefore of interest to consider different methods for the primary and the scatterdose calculation to improve calculation accuracy with limited computer resources. The algorithms in present clinical use ignore these effects causing systematic dose errors in brachytherapytreatment planning. In this work we review a primary and scatterdose separation formalism (PSS) for brachytherapysource characterization to support separate calculation of the primary and scatterdose contributions. We show how the resulting source characterization data can be used to drive more accurate dose calculations using collapsed cone superposition for scatterdose calculations. Two types of source characterization data paths are used: a direct Monte Carlo simulation in water phantoms with subsequent parameterization of the results, and an alternative data path built on processing of AAPM TG43 formatted data to provide similar parameter sets. The latter path is motivated of the large amounts of data already existing in the TG43 format. We demonstrate the PSS methods using both data paths for a clinical source. Results are shown for two geometries: a finite but homogeneous water phantom, and a half-slab consisting of water and air. The dose distributions are compared to results from full Monte Carlo simulations and we show significant improvement in scatterdose calculations when the collapsed-cone kernel-superposition algorithm is used compared to traditional table based calculations. The PSS source characterization method uses exponential fit functions derived from one-dimensional transport theory to describe both the primary and scatterdose contributions. We present data for the PSS characterization method to different , , and brachytherapysources. We also show how TG43 formatted data can be derived from our data to serve traditional treatment planning systems, as to enable for a gradual transfer to algorithms that provides improved modeling of heterogeneities in brachytherapytreatment planning.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2001209View Description Hide Description
Every quality assurance process uncovers random and systematic errors. These errors typically consist of many small random errors and a very few number of large errors that dominate the result. Quality assurance practices in radiotherapy do not adequately differentiate between these two sources of error. The ability to separate these types of errors would allow the dominant source(s) of error to be efficiently detected and addressed. In this work, statistical process control is applied to quality assurance in radiotherapy for the purpose of setting action thresholds that differentiate between random and systematic errors. The theoretical development and implementation of process behavior charts are described. We report on a pilot project is which these techniques are applied to daily output and flatness/symmetry quality assurance for a photon beam in our department. This clinical case was followed over . As part of our investigation, we found that action thresholds set using process behavior charts were able to identify systematic changes in our daily quality assurance process. This is in contrast to action thresholds set using the standard deviation, which did not identify the same systematic changes in the process. The process behavior thresholds calculated from a subset of the data detected a 2% change in the process whereas with a standard deviation calculation, no change was detected. Medical physicists must make decisions on quality assurance data as it is acquired. Process behavior charts help decide when to take action and when to acquire more data before making a change in the process.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1987988View Description Hide Description
Electronic portal imaging devices(EPIDs) can be used to measure a two-dimensional (2D) dose distribution behind a patient, thus allowing dosimetrictreatment verification. For this purpose we experimentally assessed the accuracy of a 2D portal dose prediction model based on pencil beam scatter kernels. A straightforward derivation of these pencil beam scatter kernels for portal dose prediction models is presented based on phantom measurements. The model is able to predict the 2D portal doseimage (PDI) behind a patient, based on a PDI without the patient in the beam in combination with the radiological thickness of the patient, which requires in addition a PDI with the patient in the beam. To assess the accuracy of portal dose and radiological thickness values obtained with our model, various types of homogeneous as well as inhomogeneous phantoms were irradiated with a 6 MV photon beam. With our model we are able to predict a PDI with an accuracy better than 2% (mean difference) if the radiological thickness of the object in the beam is symmetrically situated around the isocenter. For other situations deviations up to 3% are observed for a homogeneous phantom with a radiological thickness of 17 cm and a 9 cm shift of the midplane-to-detector distance. The model can extract the radiological thickness within 7 mm (maximum difference) of the actual radiological thickness if the object is symmetrically distributed around the isocenter plane. This difference in radiological thickness is related to a primary portal dose difference of 3%. It can be concluded that our model can be used as an easy and accurate tool for the 2D verification of patient treatments by comparing predicted and measured PDIs. The model is also able to extract the primary portal dose with a high accuracy, which can be used as the input for a 3D dosereconstruction method based on back-projection.
A technique for on-board CT reconstruction using both kilovoltage and megavoltage beam projections for 3D treatment verification32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1997307View Description Hide Description
The technologies with kilovoltage (kV) and megavoltage (MV) imaging in the treatment room are now available for image-guided radiation therapy to improve patient setup and target localization accuracy. However, development of strategies to efficiently and effectively implement these technologies for patient treatment remains challenging. This study proposed an aggregated technique for on-board CTreconstruction using combination of kV and MV beam projections to improve the data acquisition efficiency and image quality. These projections were acquired in the treatment room at the patient treatment position with a new kV imaging device installed on the accelerator gantry, orthogonal to the existing MV portal imaging device. The projection images for a head phantom and a contrast phantom were acquired using both the On-Board Imager™ kV imaging device and the MV portal imager mounted orthogonally on the gantry of a Varian Clinac™ 21EX linear accelerator. MV projections were converted into kV information prior to the aggregated CTreconstruction. The multilevel scheme algebraic-reconstruction technique was used to reconstructCTimages involving either full, truncated, or a combination of both full and truncated projections. An adaptive reconstruction method was also applied, based on the limited numbers of kV projections and truncated MV projections, to enhance the anatomical information around the treatment volume and to minimize the radiationdose. The effects of the total number of projections, the combination of kV and MV projections, and the beam truncation of MV projections on the details of reconstructed kV/MV CTimages were also investigated.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2001220View Description Hide Description
Accurate modeling of the respiratory cycle is important to account for the effect of organ motion on dose calculation for lungcancer patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of a respiratory model for lungcancer patients. Lujan et al. [Med. Phys.26(5), 715–720 (1999)] proposed a model, which became widely used, to describe organ motion due to respiration. This model assumes that the parameters do not vary between and within breathing cycles. In this study, first, the correlation of respiratory motion traces with the model as a function of the parameter was undertaken for each breathing cycle from 331 four-minute respiratory traces acquired from 24 lungcancer patients using three breathing types: free breathing, audio instruction, and audio-visual biofeedback. Because and had similar correlation coefficients, and and have a trigonometric relationship, for simplicity, the value was consequently used for further analysis in which the variations in mean position , amplitude of motion and period with and without biofeedback or instructions were investigated. For all breathing types, the parameter values, mean position , amplitude of motion , and period exhibited significant cycle-to-cycle variations. Audio-visual biofeedback showed the least variations for all three parameters (, , and ). It was found that mean position could be approximated with a normal distribution, and the amplitude of motion and period could be approximated with log normal distributions. The overall probability density function (pdf) of for each of the three breathing types was fitted with three models: normal, bimodal, and the pdf of a simple harmonic oscillator. It was found that the normal and the bimodal models represented the overall respiratory motion pdfs with correlation values from 0.95 to 0.99, whereas the range of the simple harmonic oscillator pdf correlation values was 0.71 to 0.81. This study demonstrates that the pdfs of mean position , amplitude of motion , and period can be used for sampling to obtain more realistic respiratory traces. The overall standard deviations of respiratory motion were 0.48, 0.57, and for free breathing, audio instruction, and audio-visual biofeedback, respectively.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1997367View Description Hide Description
Computation of digitally reconstructedradiograph(DRR)images is the rate-limiting step in most current intensity-based algorithms for the registration of three-dimensional (3D) images to two-dimensional (2D) projection images. This paper introduces and evaluates the progressive attenuation field (PAF), which is a new method to speed up DRR computation. A PAF is closely related to an attenuation field (AF). A major difference is that a PAF is constructed on the fly as the registration proceeds; it does not require any precomputation time, nor does it make any prior assumptions of the patient pose or limit the permissible range of patient motion. A PAF effectively acts as a cache memory for projection values once they are computed, rather than as a lookup table for precomputed projections like standard AFs. We use a cylindrical attenuation field parametrization, which is better suited for many medical applications of 2D-3D registration than the usual two-plane parametrization. The computed attenuation values are stored in a hash table for time-efficient storage and access. Using clinical gold-standard spine image data sets from five patients, we demonstrate consistent speedups of intensity-based 2D-3D image registration using PAF DRRs by a factor of 10 over conventional ray casting DRRs with no decrease of registration accuracy or robustness.
Absorbed dose to water reference dosimetry using solid phantoms in the context of absorbed-dose protocols32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2012807View Description Hide Description
For reasons of phantom material reproducibility, the absorbed dose protocols of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) (TG-51) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (TRS-398) have made the use of liquid water as a phantom material for reference dosimetry mandatory. In this work we provide a formal framework for the measurement of absorbed dose to water using ionization chambers calibrated in terms of absorbed dose to water but irradiated in solid phantoms. Such a framework is useful when there is a desire to put dose measurements using solid phantoms on an absolute basis. Putting solid phantom measurements on an absolute basis has distinct advantages in verification measurements and quality assurance. We introduce a phantom dose conversion factor that converts a measurement made in a solid phantom and analyzed using an absorbed dose calibration protocol into absorbed dose to water under reference conditions. We provide techniques to measure and calculate the dose transfer from solid phantom to water. For an Exradin A12 ionization chamber, we measured and calculated the phantom dose conversion factor for six Solid Water™ phantoms and for a single Lucite phantom for photon energies between and photons. For Solid Water™ of certified grade, the difference between measured and calculated factors varied between 0.0% and 0.7% with the average dose conversion factor being low by 0.4% compared with the calculation whereas for Lucite, the agreement was within 0.2% for the one phantom examined. The composition of commercial plastic phantoms and their homogeneity may not always be reproducible and consistent with assumed composition. By comparing measured and calculated phantom conversion factors, our work provides methods to verify the consistency of a given plastic for the purpose of clinical reference dosimetry.
Energy modulated electron therapy using a few leaf electron collimator in combination with IMRT and 3D-CRT: Monte Carlo-based planning and dosimetric evaluation32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2011089View Description Hide Description
Energy modulated electron therapy (EMET) based on Monte Carlo dose calculation is a promising technique that enhances the treatment planning and delivery of superficially located tumors. This study investigated the application of EMET using a novel few-leaf electron collimator (FLEC) in head and neck and breast sites in comparison with three-dimensional conventional radiation therapy (3D-CRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy(IMRT) techniques. Treatment planning was performed for two parotid cases and one breast case. Four plans were compared for each case: 3D-CRT, IMRT, 3D-CRT in conjunction with EMET (EMET-CRT), and IMRT in conjunction with EMET (EMET-IMRT), all of which were performed and calculated with Monte Carlo techniques. For all patients, dose volume histograms (DVHs) were obtained for all organs of interest and the DVHs were used as a means of comparing the plans. Homogeneity and conformity of dose distributions were calculated, as well as a sparing index that compares the effect of the low isodose lines. In addition, the whole-body dose equivalent (WBDE) was estimated for each plan. Adding EMET delivered with the FLEC to 3D-CRT improves sparing of normal tissues. For the two head and neck cases, the mean dose to the contralateral parotid and brain stem was reduced relative to IMRT by 43% and 84%, and by 57% and 71%, respectively. Improved normal tissue sparing was quantified as an increase in sparing index of 47% and 30% for the head and neck and the breast cases, respectively. Adding EMET to either 3D-CRT or IMRT results in preservation of target conformity and dose homogeneity. When adding EMET to the treatment plan, the WBDE was reduced by between 6% and 19% for 3D-CRT and by between 21% and 33% for IMRT, while WBDE for EMET-CRT was reduced by up to 72% when compared with IMRT. FLEC offers a practical means of delivering modulated electron therapy. Although adding EMET delivered using the FLEC results in perturbation of target conformity when compared to IMRT, it significantly improves normal tissue sparing while offering enhanced target conformity to the 3D-CRT planning. The addition of EMET systematically leads to a reduction in WBDE especially when compared with IMRT.
Feasibility of a fast inverse dose optimization algorithm for IMRT via matrix inversion without negative beamlet intensities32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2030427View Description Hide Description
A fast optimization algorithm is very important for inverse planning of intensity modulated radiation therapy(IMRT), and for adaptive radiotherapy of the future. Conventional numerical search algorithms such as the conjugate gradient search, with positive beam weight constraints, generally require numerous iterations and may produce suboptimal dose results due to trapping in local minima. A direct solution of the inverse problem using conventional quadratic objective functions without positive beam constraints is more efficient but will result in unrealistic negative beam weights. We present here a direct solution of the inverse problem that does not yield unphysical negative beam weights. The objective function for the optimization of a large number of beamlets is reformulated such that the optimization problem is reduced to a linear set of equations. The optimal set of intensities is found through a matrix inversion, and negative beamlet intensities are avoided without the need for externally imposed ad-hoc constraints. The method has been demonstrated with a test phantom and a few clinical radiotherapy cases, using primary dose calculations. We achieve highly conformal primary dose distributions with very rapid optimization times. Typical optimization times for a single anatomical slice (two dimensional) (head and neck) using a LAPACKmatrix inversion routine in a single processor desktop computer, are: for 500 beamlets; for 1000 beamlets; for 2000 beamlets; and for 3000 beamlets. Clinical implementation will require the additional time of a one-time precomputation of scattered radiation for all beamlets, but will not impact the optimization speed. In conclusion, the new method provides a fast and robust technique to find a global minimum that yields excellent results for the inverse planning of IMRT.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1987967View Description Hide Description
In numerous cases of radiotherapy delivery to moving targets, simplifying assumptions of identical pattern of motions of tissue for each fraction are not satisfied. Therefore, algorithms capable to respond in real time to motions of target registered at treatment should be developed to improve the precision of radiation intensity delivery. The DMLC delivery of predetermined intensity maps to moving and deforming targets in real time is developed in this paper. Algorithms are constructed so that constraints on maximum admissible speed of leaves are preserved during delivery. A sequence of examples is presented to illustrate behavior of leaf trajectories for representative cases of [dynamic multileaf collimator] (DMLC) [intensity modulated radiation therapy](IMRT) real-time delivery. The examples presented show real-time deliveries to targets moving as rigid bodies and targets deforming uniformly over their volumes. Examples are admitting random perturbations of predefined target motions that are time dependent only, i.e., target motion perturbations are identical for all target points.
Examination of dosimetry accuracy as a function of seed detection rate in permanent prostate brachytherapy32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2012789View Description Hide Description
The variation of permanent prostate brachytherapydosimetry as a function of seed detection rates was investigated for I125 implants with seed activities commonly employed in contemporary practice. Post-implant imaging and radiation dosimetry data from nine patients who underwent PPB served as the basis of this simulation study. One-thousand random configurations of detected seeds were generated for each patient dataset using various seed detection levels from 30% to 99%. Dose parameters, including D90, were computed for each configuration and compared with the actual dosimetry data. A total of 108 000 complete sets of post-PPB dose volume statistics were computed. The results demonstrated that although the average D90 differed from the true value by less than 5% when 70% or more seeds were identified, the D90 of an individual case could deviate up to 13%. The 95% confidence interval (CI) of estimated D90 values differ by less than 5% from the actual value when 95% or more seeds are detected, or approximately a difference in the D90 value for a prescription dose of . Estimated target volume dose parameters tended to decrease with reduced seed detection rates. The most variable dose parameter was the prostate V100 in absolute scale while the urethral V100 was most variable in a relative sense. Based on this comprehensive simulation study, it is suggested that 95% or more seeds need to be localized in order to provide an accurate estimation of dose parameters for contemporary iodine 125 permanent prostate brachytherapy.
- RADIATION IMAGING PHYSICS
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1999107View Description Hide Description
Automatic exposure control (AEC) is an important feature in mammography. It enables consistently optimal image exposure despite variations in tissue density and thickness, and user skill level. Full field digital mammographysystems cannot employ conventional AEC methods because digital receptors fully absorb the x-ray beam. In this paper we describe an AEC procedure for slot scanning mammography. With slot scanning detectors, our approach uses a fast low-resolution and low-exposure prescan to acquire an image of the breast. Tube potential depends on breast thickness, and the prescan histogram provides the necessary information to calculate the required tube current. We validate our approach with simulated prescan images and phantom measurements. We achieve accurate exposure tracking with thickness and density, and expect this method of AEC to reduce retakes and improve workflow.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2000647View Description Hide Description
Current methods for imaging joint motion are limited to either two-dimensional (2D) video fluoroscopy, or to animated motions from a series of static three-dimensional (3D) images. 3D movement patterns can be detected from biplane fluoroscopyimages matched with computed tomographyimages. This involves several x-ray modalities and sophisticated 2D to 3D matching for the complex wrist joint. We present a method for the acquisition of dynamic 3D images of a moving joint. In our method a 3D-rotational x-ray (3D-RX) system is used to image a cyclically moving joint. The cyclic motion is synchronized to the x-ray acquisition to yield multiple sets of projection images, which are reconstructed to a series of time resolved 3D images, i.e., four-dimensional rotational x ray (4D-RX). To investigate the obtained image quality parameters the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the point spread function (PSF) via the edge spread function and the contrast to noise ratio between air and phantom were determined on reconstructions of a bullet and rod phantom, using 4D-RX as well as stationary 3D-RX images. The CNR in volume reconstructions based on 251 projection images in the static situation and on 41 and 34 projection images of a moving phantom were 6.9, 3.0, and 2.9, respectively. The average FWHM of the PSF of these same images was, respectively, 1.1, 1.7, and orthogonal to the motion and parallel to direction of motion 0.6, 0.7, and . The main deterioration of 4D-RX images compared to 3D-RX images is due to the low number of projection images used and not to the motion of the object. Using 41 projection images seems the best setting for the current system. Experiments on a postmortem wrist show the feasibility of the method for imaging 3D dynamic joint motion. We expect that 4D-RX will pave the way to improved assessment of joint disorders by detection of 3D dynamic motion patterns in joints.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2008429View Description Hide Description
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of edge enhancement by refraction in computed tomography,images of a cross section of a euthanized mouse thorax were recorded at low (20 keV) and high (72 keV) x-ray energies at a spatial resolution of about . Compared with the images obtained with the detector at 30 cm from an object, when the object was located at 113 cm from the detector, the contrast between tissues and air was improved at both energies. The improvement was more pronounced at 72 keV where the absorption contrast was weaker. This effect was due to refraction at the surfaces of alveolar membranes and small airways which creates areas with apparently high and low linear attenuation coefficients within tissues. The edge enhancement by refraction was also effective in images of a euthanized rabbit thorax at x-ray energies of 40 and 70 keV at a spatial resolution of about 0.15 mm. These results raise the possibility that the refraction contrast may be utilized to obtain a high-resolution tomographic image of human lung and bone with low dose.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1984347View Description Hide Description
Photon attenuation in small animal nuclear medicine scans can be significant when using isotopes that emit lower energy photons such as iodine-125. We have developed a method to use microCT data to perform attenuation corrected small animal single-photon emission computed tomography(SPECT). A microCT calibration phantom was first imaged, and the resulting calibration curve was used to convert microCT image values to linear attenuation coefficient values that were then used in an iterative SPECTreconstruction algorithm. This method was applied to reconstruct a SPECTimage of a uniform phantom filled with . Without attenuation correction, the image suffered a 30% decrease in intensity in the center of the image, which was removed with the addition of attenuation correction. This reduced the relative standard deviation in the region of interest from 10% to 6%.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1997327View Description Hide Description
We are developing a computer-aided detection(CAD)system for breast masses on full field digital mammographic (FFDM) images. To develop a CADsystem that is independent of the FFDM manufacturer’s proprietary preprocessing methods, we used the raw FFDM image as input and developed a multiresolution preprocessing scheme for image enhancement. A two-stage prescreening method that combines gradient field analysis with gray level information was developed to identify mass candidates on the processed images. The suspicious structure in each identified region was extracted by clustering-based region growing. Morphological and spatial gray-level dependence texture features were extracted for each suspicious object. Stepwise linear discriminant analysis (LDA) with simplex optimization was used to select the most useful features. Finally, rule-based and LDA classifiers were designed to differentiate masses from normal tissues. Two data sets were collected: a mass data set containing 110 cases of two-view mammograms with a total of 220 images, and a no-mass data set containing 90 cases of two-view mammograms with a total of 180 images. All cases were acquired with a GE Senographe 2000D FFDM system. The true locations of the masses were identified by an experienced radiologist. Free-response receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to evaluate the performance of the CADsystem. It was found that our CADsystem achieved a case-based sensitivity of 70%, 80%, and 90% at 0.72, 1.08, and 1.82 false positive (FP) marks/image on the mass data set. The FP rates on the no-mass data set were 0.85, 1.31, and 2.14 FP marks/image, respectively, at the corresponding sensitivities. This study demonstrated the usefulness of our CAD techniques for automated detection of masses on FFDM images.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2008467View Description Hide Description
Two or more angiograms are being used frequently in medical imaging to reconstruct locations in three-dimensional (3D) space, e.g., for reconstruction of 3D vascular trees, implanted electrodes, or patient positioning. A number of techniques have been proposed for this task. In this simulation study, we investigate the effect of the shape of the configuration of the points in 3D (the “cloud” of points) on reconstruction errors for one of these techniques developed in our laboratory. Five types of configurations (a ball, an elongated ellipsoid (cigar), flattened ball (pancake), flattened cigar, and a flattened ball with a single distant point) are used in the evaluations. For each shape, 100 random configurations were generated, with point coordinates chosen from Gaussian distributions having a covariance matrix corresponding to the desired shape. The 3D data were projected into the image planes using a known imaging geometry. Gaussian distributed errors were introduced in the and coordinates of these projected points. Gaussian distributed errors were also introduced into the gantry information used to calculate the initial imaging geometry. The imaging geometries and 3D positions were iteratively refined using the enhanced-Metz-Fencil technique. The image data were also used to evaluate the feasible solution volume. The 3D errors between the calculated and true positions were determined. The effects of the shape of the configuration, the number of points, the initial geometry error, and the input image error were evaluated. The results for the number of points, initial geometry error, and image error are in agreement with previously reported results, i.e., increasing the number of points and reducing initial geometry and/or image error, improves the accuracy of the reconstructed data. The shape of the 3D configuration of points also affects the error of reconstructed 3D configuration; specifically, errors decrease as the “volume” of the 3D configuration increases, as would be intuitively expected, and shapes with larger spread, such as spherical shapes, yield more accurate reconstructions. These results are in agreement with an analysis of the solution volume of feasible geometries and could be used to guide selection of points for reconstruction of 3D configurations from two views.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.1954907View Description Hide Description
This paper describes the procedure for using a Fuji computed radiography(CR)imaging plate (IP) for the measurement of computed tomography(CT) radiation profiles. Two sources of saturation in the data from the IP, signal and quantization, were characterized to establish appropriate exposure and processing conditions for accurate measurements. The IP generated similar profiles compared to those obtained from digitized ready-pack films, except at the profile edges, where the exposure level is low. However, when IP pixel values are converted to exposure, CR and digitized film profiles are in agreement. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the CT radiation profile was determined from the relationship between pixel value and exposure and compared to FWHM of the digitized optical density profile from film. To estimate the effect of scattering by the cassette material, radiation profiles were acquired from IPs enclosed in a cassette or in a paper envelope. The presence of the cassette made no difference in the value determined for FWHM. With proper exposure and processing conditions, the FWHM of 5, 10, and 15 mm collimated beams were measured using IPs to be 7.1, 11.9, and 17.0 mm and using film to be 7.2, 12.2, and 16.8 mm, respectively. Our results suggest that, under appropriate conditions, the estimation of the width of the CT radiation profile using Fuji CR is comparable to the measurement from film density described in American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Report No. 39. Although our experiment was conducted using Fuji CR, we anticipate that CR plates from other vendors could be successfully used to measure CT beam profiles because of similar empirical relationships between pixel value and exposure.
32(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2013007View Description Hide Description
Microcomputed tomography (Micro-CT) has the potential to noninvasively image the structure of organs in rodent models with high spatial resolution and relatively short image acquisition times. However, motion artifacts associated with the normal respiratory motion of the animal may arise when imaging the abdomen or thorax. To reduce these artifacts and the accompanying loss of spatial resolution, we propose a prospective respiratory gating technique for use with anaesthetized, free-breathing rodents. A custom-made bed with an embedded pressure chamber was connected to a pressure transducer. Anaesthetized animals were placed in the prone position on the bed with their abdomens located over the chamber. During inspiration, the motion of the diaphragm caused an increase in the chamber pressure, which was converted into a voltage signal by the transducer. An output voltage was used to trigger image acquisition at any desired time point in the respiratory cycle. Digital radiographicimages were acquired of anaesthetized, free-breathing rats with a digital radiographic system to correlate the respiratory wave form with respiration-induced organ motion. The respiratory wave form was monitored and recorded simultaneously with the x-ray radiation pulses, and an imaging window was defined, beginning at end expiration. Phantom experiments were performed to verify that the respiratory gating apparatus was triggering the micro-CT system. Attached to the distensible phantom were diameter copper wires and the measured full width at half maximum was used to assess differences in image quality between respiratory-gated and ungated imaging protocols. This experiment allowed us to quantify the improvement in the spatial resolution, and the reduction of motion artifacts caused by moving structures, in the images resulting from respiratory-gated image acquisitions. The measured wire diameters were for the stationary phantom image, for the image gated at end deflation, for the image gated at peak inflation, and for the ungated image. Micro-CT images of anaesthetized, free-breathing rats were acquired with a General Electric Healthcare eXplore RS in vivo micro-CT system. Images of the thorax were acquired using the respiratory cycle-based trigger for the respiratory-gated mode. Respiratory gated-images were acquired at inspiration and end expiration, during a period of minimal respiration-induced organ motion. Gated images were acquired with a nominal isotropic voxel spacing of in (, , imaging window per projection). The equivalent ungated acquisitions were in length. We observed improved definition of the diaphragm boundary and increased conspicuity of small structures within the lungs in the gated images, when compared to the ungated acquisitions. In this work, we have characterized the externally monitored respiratory wave form of free-breathing, anaesthetized rats and correlated the respiration-induced organ motion to the respiratory cycle. We have shown that the respiratory pressure wave form is an excellent surrogate for the radiographicorgan motion. This information facilitates the definition of an imaging window at any phase of the breathing cycle. This approach for prospectively gated micro-CT can provide high quality images of anaesthetized free-breathing rodents.