Index of content:
Volume 38, Issue 12, December 2011
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3664002View Description Hide Description
- MEDICAL PHYSICS LETTERS
Spatial correlation of proton irradiation-induced activity and dose in polymer gel phantoms for PET/CT delivery verification studies38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3651467View Description Hide Description
Purpose: This work demonstrates a novel application of BANG3-Pro2 polymergeldosimeter as a dosimetric phantom able to accurately capture both dose and induced activity.Methods: BANG3-Pro2 dosimeters were irradiated with a clinical proton beam using an unmodulated beam and a spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) modulation, the latter with a Lucite compensator to introduce a range offset in one quadrant of the circular field. The dosimeters were imaged in a nearby positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) unit starting within 5 min of beam-off. Induced positron emission (PE) activity along the central axis of the beam was compared to analytical calculations. Dose distributions were read out using an optical CT scanner and were validated against ion chamber measurements and the treatment plan. The offset between the distal fall-off of dose and activity (50% level) was determined over the entire irradiated field. Lateral profiles of PE were correlated to measured dose for the unmodulated beam delivery.Results: Measured profiles of PE activity along the central beam axis were found to be within 10% of the predictions of analytical calculations. The depth-dose profiles agreed with the reference values (ion chamber or treatment plan) within 3%. The offset between the depth profiles of dose and activity for the unmodulated beam was 8.4 ± 1.4 mm. For the compensator-based SOBP delivery, the distribution of offsets throughout the field was found to be bimodal, with the mean of 8.9 ± 2.8 mm for the thinner region of the compensator and 4.3 ± 2.5 mm for the thicker region. For the pristine beam delivery, lateral profiles of dose and activity were found to exhibit fair spatial correlation throughout the beam range, with the mean 2D gamma index of 0.42 and 91% of the evaluated pixels passing the test.Conclusions: This work presents the first demonstration of simultaneous and accurate experimental measurement of three-dimensional distributions of dose and induced activity and lays the groundwork for further investigations using BANG3-Pro2 as a dosimetric phantom in PET/CT delivery verification studies.
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3660592View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
This letter suggests a formalism, themedical effective dose (MED), that is suitable for assessing stochastic radiogenic risks in diagnosticmedical procedures.Methods
: The MED is derived from radiobiological and probabilistic first principals, including: (1) The independence of radiation-induced biological effects in neighboring voxels at low doses; (2) the linear no-threshold assumption for stochastic radiation injury (although other dose-response relationships could be incorporated, instead); (3) the best human radiationdose-response data currently available; and (4) the built-in possibility that the carcinogenicrisk to an irradiated organ may depend on its volume. The MED involves a dose-risk summation over irradiated voxels at high spatial resolution; it reduces to the traditional effective dose when every organ is irradiated uniformly and when the dependence of risk on organ volumes is ignored. Standard relative-risk tissue weighting factors can be used with the MED approach until more refined data become available.Results:
The MED is intended for clinical and phantom dosimetry, and it provides an estimate of overall relative radiogenic stochastic risk for any given dose distribution. A result of the MED derivation is that the stochastic risk may increase with the volume of tissue (i.e., the number of cells) irradiated, a feature that can be activated when forthcoming radiobiological research warrants it. In this regard, the MED resembles neither the standard effective dose (E) nor the CTdose index (CTDI), but it is somewhat like the CTdose-length product (DLP).Conclusions:
The MED is a novel, probabilistically and biologically based means of estimating stochastic-risk-weighted doses associated with medical imaging. Built in,ab initio, is the ability to link radiogenic risk to organ volume and other clinical factors. It is straightforward to implement when medicaldose distributions are available, provided that one is content, for the time being, to accept the relative tissue weighting factors published by the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP). It requires no new radiobiological data and avoids major problems encountered by the E, CTDI, and CT-E formalisms. It makes possible relative inter-patient dosimetry, and also realistic intercomparisons of stochastic risks from different protocols that yield images of comparable quality.
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
Evaluations of an adaptive planning technique incorporating dose feedback in image-guided radiotherapy of prostate cancer38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3658567View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Online image guidance (IG) has been used to effectively correct the setup error and inter-fraction rigid organ motion for prostate cancer. However, planning margins are still necessary to account for uncertainties such as deformation and intra-fraction motion. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of an adaptive planning technique incorporating offline dose feedback to manage inter-fraction motion and residuals from online correction.Methods:
Repeated helical CT scans from 28 patients were included in the study. The contours of prostate and organs-at-risk (OARs) were delineated on each CT, and online IG was simulated by matching center-of-mass of prostate between treatment CTs and planning CT. A seven beam intensity modulated radiation therapy(IMRT) plan was designed for each patient on planning CT for a total of 15 fractions. Dose distribution at each fraction was evaluated based on actual contours of the target and OARs from that fraction. Cumulative dose up to each fraction was calculated by tracking each voxel based on a deformable registration algorithm. The cumulative dose was compared with the dose from initial plan. If the deviation exceeded the pre-defined threshold, such as 2% of theD 99 to the prostate, an adaptive planning technique called dose compensation was invoked, in which the cumulative dose distribution was fed back to the treatment planning system and the dose deficit was made up through boost radiation in future treatment fractions. The dose compensation was achieved by IMRT inverse planning. Two weekly compensation delivery strategies were simulated: one intended to deliver the boost dose in all future fractions (schedule A) and the other in the following week only (schedule B). The D 99 to prostate and generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD) to rectal wall and bladder were computed and compared with those without the dose compensation.Results:
If only 2% underdose is allowed at the end of the treatment course, then 11 patients fail. If the same criteria is assessed at the end of each week (every five fractions), then 14 patients fail, with three patients failing the 1st or 2nd week but passing at the end. The average dose deficit from these 14 patients was 4.4%. They improved to 2% after the weekly compensation. Out of these 14 patients who needed dose compensation, ten passed the dose criterion after weekly dose compensation, three patients failed marginally, and one patient still failed the criterion significantly (10% deficit), representing 3.6% of the patient population. A more aggressive compensation frequency (every three fractions) could successfully reduce the dose deficit to the acceptable level for this patient. The average number of required dose compensation re-planning per patient was 0.82 (0.79) per patient for schedule A (B) delivery strategy. The doses to OARs were not significantly different from the online IG only plans without dose compensation.Conclusions:
We have demonstrated the effectiveness of offline dose compensation technique in image-guidedradiotherapy for prostate cancer. It can effectively account for residual uncertainties which cannot be corrected through online IG. Dose compensation allows further margin reduction and critical organs sparing.
Four-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (4D-MRI) using image-based respiratory surrogate: A feasibility study38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3658737View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Four-dimensional computed tomography (4D-CT) has been widely used in radiation therapy to assess patient-specific breathing motion for determining individual safety margins. However, it has two major drawbacks: low soft-tissue contrast and an excessive imaging dose to the patient. This research aimed to develop a clinically feasible four-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging (4D-MRI) technique to overcome these limitations.Methods:
The proposed 4D-MRI technique was achieved by continuously acquiring axial images throughout the breathing cycle using fast 2D cine-MR imaging, and then retrospectively sorting the images by respiratory phase. The key component of the technique was the use of body area (BA) of the axial MRimages as an internal respiratory surrogate to extract the breathing signal. The validation of the BA surrogate was performed using 4D-CT images of 12 cancer patients by comparing the respiratory phases determined using the BA method to those determined clinically using the Real-time position management (RPM) system. The feasibility of the 4D-MRI technique was tested on a dynamic motion phantom, the 4D extended Cardiac Torso (XCAT) digital phantom, and two healthy human subjects.Results:
Respiratory phases determined from the BA matched closely to those determined from the RPM: mean (±SD) difference in phase: −3.9% (±6.4%); mean (±SD) absolute difference in phase: 10.40% (±3.3%); mean (±SD) correlation coefficient: 0.93 (±0.04). In the motion phantom study, 4D-MRI clearly showed the sinusoidal motion of the phantom; image artifacts observed were minimal to none. Motion trajectories measured from 4D-MRI and 2D cine-MRI (used as a reference) matched excellently: the mean (±SD) absolute difference in motion amplitude: −0.3 (±0.5) mm. In the 4D-XCAT phantom study, the simulated “4D-MRI” images showed good consistency with the original 4D-XCAT phantom images. The motion trajectory of the hypothesized “tumor” matched excellently between the two, with a mean (±SD) absolute difference in motion amplitude of 0.5 (±0.4) mm. 4D-MRI was able to reveal the respiratory motion of internal organs in both human subjects; superior–inferior (SI) maximum motion of the left kidney of Subject #1 and the diaphragm of Subject #2 measured from 4D-MRI was 0.88 and 1.32 cm, respectively.Conclusions:
Preliminary results of our study demonstrated the feasibility of a novel retrospective 4D-MRI technique that uses body area as a respiratory surrogate.
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3658655View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Particle beam therapy is associated with significant startup and operational cost. Multileaf collimator(MLC) provides an attractive option to improve the efficiency and reduce the treatment cost. A direct transfer of the MLC technology from external beam radiation therapy is intuitively straightforward to proton therapy. However, activation, neutron production, and the associated secondary cancer risk in proton beam should be an important consideration which is evaluated.Methods:
Monte Carlo simulation with FLUKA particle transport code was applied in this study for a number of treatment models. The authors have performed a detailed study of the neutron generation, ambient dose equivalent [H*(10)], and activation of a typical tungstenMLC and compared with those obtained from a brass aperture used in a typical proton therapy system. Brass aperture and tungstenMLC were modeled by absorber blocks in this study, representing worst-case scenario of a fully closed collimator.Results:
With a tungstenMLC, the secondary neutrondose to the patient is at least 1.5 times higher than that from a brass aperture. The H*(10) from a tungstenMLC at 10 cm downstream is about 22.3 mSv/Gy delivered to water phantom by noncollimated 200 MeV beam of 20 cm diameter compared to 14 mSv/Gy for the brass aperture. For a 30-fraction treatment course, the activity per unit volume in brass aperture reaches 5.3 × 104 Bq cm−3 at the end of the last treatment. The activity in brass decreases by a factor of 380 after 24 h, additional 6.2 times after 40 days of cooling, and is reduced to background level after 1 yr. Initial activity in tungsten after 30 days of treating 30 patients per day is about 3.4 times higher than in brass that decreases only by a factor of 2 after 40 days and accumulates to 1.2 × 106 Bq cm−3 after a full year of operation. The daily utilization of the MLC leads to buildup of activity with time. The overall activity continues to increase due to 179Ta with a half-life of 1.82 yr and thus require prolonged storage for activity cooling. The H*(10) near the patient side of the tungsten block is about 100 μSv/h and is 27 times higher at the upstream side of the block. This would lead to an accumulated dose for therapists in a year that may exceed occupational maximum permissible dose (50 mSv/yr). The value of H*(10) at the upstream surface of the tungsten block is about 220 times higher than that of the brass.Conclusions:
MLC is an efficient way for beam shaping and overall cost reduction device in proton therapy. However, based on this study, tungsten seems to be not an optimal material for MLC in proton beam therapy. Usage of tungstenMLC in clinic may create unnecessary risks associated with the secondary neutrons and induced radioactivity for patients and staff depending on the patient load. A careful selection of material for manufacturing of an optimal MLC for proton therapy is thus desired.
Improving superficial target delineation in radiation therapy with endoscopic tracking and registration38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3658569View Description Hide Description
Purpose: Target delineation within volumetric imaging is a critical step in the planning process of intensity modulated radiation therapy. In endoluminal cancers, endoscopy often reveals superficial areas of visible disease beyond what is seen on volumetric imaging. Quantitatively relating these findings to the volumetric imaging is prone to human error during the recall and contouring of the target. We have developed a method to improve target delineation in the radiation therapy planning process by quantitatively registering endoscopic findings contours traced on endoscopic images to volumetric imaging.Methods: Using electromagnetic sensors embedded in an endoscope, 2D endoscopic images were registered to computed tomography(CT) volumetric images by tracking the position and orientation of the endoscope relative to a CTimage set. Regions-of-interest (ROI) in the 2D endoscopic view were delineated. A mesh created within the boundary of the ROI was projected onto the 3D image data, registering the ROI with the volumetric image. This 3D ROI was exported to clinical radiation treatment planningsoftware. The precision and accuracy of the procedure was tested on two solid phantoms with superficial markings visible on both endoscopy and CTimages. The first phantom was T-shaped tube with X-marks etched on the interior. The second phantom was an anatomically correct skull phantom with a phantom superficial lesion placed on the pharyngeal surface. Markings were contoured on the endoscope images and compared with contours delineated in the treatment planning system based on the CTimages. Clinical feasibility was tested on three patients with early stage glottic cancer.Image-based rendering using manually identified landmarks was used to improve the registration.Results: Using the T-shaped phantom with X-markings, the 2D to 3D registration accuracy was 1.5–3.5 mm, depending on the endoscope position relative to the markings. Intraobserver standard variation was 0.5 mm. Rotational accuracy was within 2°. Using the skull phantom, registration accuracy was assessed by calculating the average surface minimum distance between the endoscopy and treatment planning contours. The average surface distance was 0.92 mm with 93% of all points in the 2D-endoscopy ROI within 1.5 mm of any point within the ROI contoured in the treatment planningsoftware. This accuracy is limited by the CTimaging resolution and the electromagnetic (EM) sensor accuracy. The clinical testing demonstrated that endoscopic contouring is feasible. With registration based on em tracking only, accuracy was 5.6–8.4 mm. Image-based registration reduced this error to less than 3.5 mm and enabled endoscopic contouring in all cases.Conclusions: Registration of contours generated on 2D endoscopic images to 3D planning space is feasible, with accuracy smaller than typical set-up margins. Used in addition to standard 3D contouring methods in radiation planning, the technology may improve gross tumour volume (GTV) delineation for superficial tumors in luminal sites that are only visible in endoscopy.
Calculation of for several small detectors and for two linear accelerators using Monte Carlo simulations38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3660770View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The scope of this study was to determine a complete set of correction factors for several detectors in static small photon fields for two linear accelerators(linacs) and for several detectors.Methods:
Measurements for Monte Carlo(MC) commissioning were performed for two linacs, Siemens Primus and Elekta Synergy. After having determined the source parameters that best fit the measurements of field specific output factors, profiles, and tissue-phantom ratio, the generalized version of the classical beam quality correction factor for static small fields,, were determined for several types of detectors by using the Monte Carlo user code which can accurately reproduce the geometry and the material composition of the detector. The influence of many parameters (energy and radial FWHM of the electron beamsource, field dimensions, type of accelerator) on the value of was evaluated. Moreover, a MC analysis of the parameters that influence the change of as a function of field dimension was performed. A detailed analysis of uncertainties related to the measurements of the field specific output factor and to the Monte Carlo calculation of was done.Results:
The simulations demonstrated that the correction factor can be considered independent from the quality beam factor Q in the range 0.68 ± 0.01 for all the detectors analyzed. The of PTW 60012 and EDGE diodes can be assumed dependent only on the field size, for fields down to 0.5 × 0.5 cm2. The microLion, and the microchambers, instead, must be used with some caution because they exhibit a slight dependence on the radial FWHM of the electron source, and therefore, a correction factor only dependent on field size can be used for fields ≥0.75 × 0.75 and ≥1.0 × 1.0 cm2, respectively. The analysis of uncertainties gave an estimate of uncertainty for the 0.5 × 0.5 cm2 field of about 0.7% (1σ) for factor and of about 1.0% (1σ) for the field output factor, , of diodes, microchambers, and microLion.Conclusions:
Stereotactic diodes with the appropriate are recommended for determining of small photon beams.
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3660517View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the male population. Radiotherapy is often used in the treatment for prostate cancer. In radiotherapytreatment, the oncologist makes a trade-off between the risk and benefit of the radiation, i.e., the task is to deliver a high dose to the prostate cancer cells and minimize side effects of the treatment. The aim of our research is to develop a software system that will assist the oncologist in planning new treatments.Methods:
A nonlinear case-based reasoning system is developed to capture the expertise and experience of oncologists in treating previous patients. Importance (weights) of different clinical parameters in the dose planning is determined by the oncologist based on their past experience, and is highly subjective. The weights are usually fixed in the system. In this research, the weights are updated automatically each time after generating a treatment plan for a new patient using a group based simulated annealing approach.Results:
The developed approach is analyzed on the real data set collected from the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, City Hospital Campus, UK. Extensive experiments show that the dose plan suggested by the proposed method is coherent with the dose plan prescribed by an experienced oncologist or even better.Conclusions:
The developed case-based reasoning system enables the use of knowledge and experience gained by the oncologist in treating new patients. This system may play a vital role to assist the oncologist in making a better decision in less computational time; it utilizes the success rate of the previously treated patients and it can also be used in teaching and training processes.
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3660773View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Measurement of actual dosedelivered during radiotherapytreatment aids in checking the accuracy of dosedelivered to the patient. In this study, a couch-based real time dosimetric device has been proposed to measure the exit or entrance dose to a patient during external beam radiotherapy. The utility and feasibility of such a device using a 2D array of diodes has been demonstrated.Methods:
TwoMAPCHECK devices: MAPCHECK (1175) and MAPCHECK 2 (both SunNuclear) were embedded in a foam block in the treatment couch of a Varian 21iX linear accelerator. The angular dependence of the detector response for both devices was studied before implementing the MAPCHECKs for experimental purposes. An Alderson Rando head phantom was scanned with the MAPCHECK and MAPCHECK 2 devices separately and four different treatment plans were generated with target volumes at three different positions simulating typical clinical situations. The analytical anisotropic algorithm (AAA) was used to compute the doses in an Eclipse treatment planning system (Varian Medical Systems). The Rando phantom with the MAPCHECK device was exposed in Clinac 21iX linear accelerator. The measured dose distribution was compared with the calculated dose distribution to check for the accuracy in dosedelivery.Results:
Measured and computed dose distribution were found to agree with more than 93% of pixels passing at 3% and 3 mm gamma criteria for all the treatment plans. The couch-based real time dosimetry system may also be applied for noncoplanar beams where electronic portal imaging device(EPID) is not practical to measure the dose. Other advantages include checking the beam stability during the patient treatment, performing routine morning quality assurance (QA) tests in the linear accelerator, and to perform pretreatment verification of intensity modulated radiation therapy(IMRT). One of the drawbacks of this system is that it cannot be used for measuring the dose at 90° or 270° gantry angles.Conclusions:
This preliminary study shows that a 2D array of detectors may be used as part of the treatment couch for real time patient dosimetry in studying the dosedelivered to the patient in real time and also for performing routine quality assurance.
Dose and dose averaged LET comparison of 1H, 4He, 6Li, 8Be, 10B, 12C, 14N, and 16O ion beams forming a spread-out Bragg peak38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3662911View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Modern clinical accelerators are capable of producing ion beams from protons up to neon. This work compares the depth dose distribution and corresponding dose averaged linear energy transfer (LET) distribution, which is related to the biological effectiveness, for different ion beams (1H, 4He, 6Li, 8Be, 10B, 12C, 14N, and 16O) using multi-energetic spectra in order to configure spread-out Bragg peaks (SOBP).Methods:
Monte Carlo simulations were performed in order to configure a 5 cm SOBP at 8 cm depth in water for all the different ion beams. Physical dose and dose averaged LET distributions as a function of depth were then calculated and compared. The superposition of dose distribution of all ions is also presented for a two opposing fields configuration. Additional simulations were performed for12C beams to investigate the dependence of dose and dose averaged LET distributions on target depth and size, as well as beam configuration. These included simulations for a 3 cm SOBP at 7, 10, and 13 cm depth in water, a 6 cm SOBP at 7 depth in water, and two opposing fields of 6 cm SOBP.Results:
Alpha particles and protons present superior physical depth dose distributions relative to the rest of the beams studied. Dose averaged LET distributions results suggest higher biological effectiveness in the target volume for carbon, nitrogen and oxygen ions. This is coupled, however, with relatively high LET values—especially for the last two ion species—outside the SOBP where healthy tissue would be located. Dose averaged LET distributions for8Be and 10B beams show that they could be attractive alternatives to 12C for the treatment of small, not deeply seated lesions. The potential therapeutic effect of different ion beams studied in this work depends on target volume and position, as well as the number of beams used.Conclusions:
The optimization of beam modality for specific tumor cites remains an open question that warrants further investigation and clinically relevant results.
Potential of discrete Gaussian edge feathering method for improving abutment dosimetry in eMLC-delivered segmented-field electron conformal therapy38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3660289View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The purpose of this work was to investigate the potential of discrete Gaussian edge feathering of the higher energy electron fields for improving abutment dosimetry in the planning volume when using an electron multileaf collimator (eMLC) to deliver segmented-field electron conformal therapy (ECT).Methods:
A discrete (five-step) Gaussian edge spread function was used to match dose penumbras of differing beam energies (6–20 MeV) at a specified depth in a water phantom. Software was developed to define the leaf eMLC positions of an eMLC that most closely fit each electron field shape. The effect of 1D edge feathering of the higher energy field on dose homogeneity was computed and measured for segmented-field ECT treatment plans for three 2D PTVs in a water phantom, i.e., depth from the water surface to the distal PTV surface varied as a function of thex-axis (parallel to leaf motion) and remained constant along the y-axis (perpendicular to leaf motion). Additionally, the effect of 2D edge feathering was computed and measured for one radially symmetric, 3D PTV in a water phantom, i.e., depth from the water surface to the distal PTV surface varied as a function of both axes. For the 3D PTV, the feathering scheme was evaluated for 0.1–1.0-cm leaf widths. Dose calculations were performed using the pencil beamdose algorithm in the Pinnacle3treatment planning system. Dose verification measurements were made using a prototype eMLC (1-cm leaf width).Results:
1D discrete Gaussian edge feathering reduced the standard deviation of dose in the 2D PTVs by 34, 34, and 39%. In the 3D PTV, the broad leaf width (1 cm) of the eMLC hindered the 2D application of the feathering solution to the 3D PTV, and the standard deviation of dose increased by 10%. However, 2D discrete Gaussian edge feathering with simulated eMLC leaf widths of 0.1–0.5 cm reduced the standard deviation of dose in the 3D PTV by 33–28%, respectively.Conclusions:
A five-step discrete Gaussian edge spread function applied in 2D improves the abutment dosimetry but requires an eMLC leaf resolution better than 1 cm.
Automated image-based colon cleansing for laxative-free CT colonography computer-aided polyp detection38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3662918View Description Hide Description
Purpose: To evaluate the performance of a computer-aided detection(CAD)system for detecting colonic polyps at noncathartic computed tomography colonography (CTC) in conjunction with an automated image-based colon cleansing algorithm.Methods: An automated colon cleansing algorithm was designed to detect and subtract tagged-stool, accounting for heterogeneity and poor tagging, to be used in conjunction with a colon CADsystem. The method is locally adaptive and combines intensity, shape, and texture analysis with probabilistic optimization. CTC data from cathartic-free bowel preparation were acquired for testing and training the parameters. Patients underwent various colonic preparations with barium or Gastroview in divided doses over 48 h before scanning. No laxatives were administered and no dietary modifications were required. Cases were selected from a polyp-enriched cohort and included scans in which at least 90% of the solid stool was visually estimated to be tagged and each colonic segment was distended in either the prone or supine view. The CADsystem was run comparatively with and without the stool subtraction algorithm.Results: The dataset comprised 38 CTC scans from prone and/or supine scans of 19 patients containing 44 polyps larger than 10 mm (22 unique polyps, if matched between prone and supine scans). The results are robust on fine details around folds, thin-stool linings on the colonic wall, near polyps and in large fluid/stool pools. The sensitivity of the CADsystem is 70.5% per polyp at a rate of 5.75 false positives/scan without using the stool subtraction module. This detection improved significantly (p = 0.009) after automated colon cleansing on cathartic-free data to 86.4% true positive rate at 5.75 false positives/scan.Conclusions: An automated image-based colon cleansing algorithm designed to overcome the challenges of the noncathartic colon significantly improves the sensitivity of colon CAD by approximately 15%.
Development of a novel quality assurance system based on rolled-up and rolled-out radiochromic films in volumetric modulated arc therapy38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3659706View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To develop a cylindrical phantom with rolled-up radiochromic films and dose analysis software in the rolled-out plane for quality assurance (QA) in volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT).Methods:
The phantom consists of an acrylic cylindrical body wrapped with radiochromic film inserted into an outer cylindrical shell of 5 cm thickness. The rolled-up films with high spatial resolution enable detection of specific dose errors along the arc trajectory of continuously irradiated and modulated beams in VMAT. The developed dose analysis software facilitates dosimetric evaluation in the rolled-up and rolled-out planes of the film; the calculated doses on the corresponding points where the rolled-up film was placed were reconstructed into a rectangular dose matrix equivalent to that of the rolled-out plane of the film. The VMAT QA system was implemented in 3 clinical cases of prostate, nasopharynx, and pelvic metastasis. Each calculated dose on the rolled-out plane was compared with measurement values by modified gamma evaluation. Detected positions of dose disagreement on the rolled-out plane were also distinguished in cylindrical coordinates. The frequency of error occurrence and error distribution were summarized in a histogram and in an axial view of rolled-up plane to intuitively identify the corresponding positions of detected errors according to the gantry angle.Results:
The dose matrix reconstructed from the developed VMAT QA system was used to verify the measured dose distribution along the arc trajectory. Dose discrepancies were detected on the rolled-out plane and visualized on the calculated dose matrix in cylindrical coordinates. The error histogram obtained by gamma evaluation enabled identification of the specific error frequency at each gantry angular position. The total dose error occurring on the cylindrical surface was in the range of 5%–8% for the 3 cases.Conclusions:
The developed system provides a practical and reliable QA method to detect dosimetric errors according to the gantry angle. Film dosimetry based on rolled-up and rolled-out techniques leads to dose verification in the subspaces of the 3D dose volume. The system can be employed as an alternative tool to detect the pitfalls of planar dose verification.
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3656683View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To perform a comparison of the interim air-kerma strength standard for high dose rate (HDR)192Ir brachytherapy sources maintained by the University of Wisconsin Accredited DosimetryCalibration Laboratory (UWADCL) with measurements of the various sourcemodels using modified techniques from the literature. The current interim standard was established by Goetsch et al. in 1991 and has remained unchanged to date.Methods:
The improved, laser-aligned seven-distance apparatus of the University of Wisconsin Medical Radiation Research Center (UWMRRC) was used to perform air-kerma strength measurements of five different HDR192Ir sourcemodels. The results of these measurements were compared with those from well chambers traceable to the original standard. Alternative methodologies for interpolating the 192Ir air-kerma calibration coefficient from the NIST air-kerma standards at 137Cs and 250 kVp x rays (M250) were investigated and intercompared. As part of the interpolation method comparison, the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc was used to calculate updated values of A wall for the Exradin A3 chamber used for air-kerma strength measurements. The effects of air attenuation and scatter, room scatter, as well as the solution method were investigated in detail.Results:
The average measurements when using the inverseN Kinterpolation method for the Classic Nucletron, Nucletron microSelectron, VariSource VS2000, GammaMed Plus, and Flexisource were found to be 0.47%, −0.10%, −1.13%, −0.20%, and 0.89% different than the existing standard, respectively. A further investigation of the differences observed between the sources was performed using MCNP5 Monte Carlo simulations of each sourcemodel inside a full model of an HDR 1000 Plus well chamber.Conclusions:
Although the differences between the sourcemodels were found to be statistically significant, the equally weighted average difference between the seven-distance measurements and the well chambers was 0.01%, confirming that it is not necessary to update the current standard maintained at the UWADCL.
An electromagnetic navigation system for transbronchial interventions with a novel approach to respiratory motion compensation38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3662871View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Bronchoscopic interventions, such as transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA), are commonly performed procedures to diagnose and stage lung cancer. However, due to the complex structure of the lung, one of the main challenges is to find the exact position to perform a biopsy and to actually hit the biopsy target (e.g., a lesion). Today, most interventions are accompanied by fluoroscopy to verify the position of the biopsy instrument, which means additional radiation exposure for the patient and the medical staff. Furthermore, the diagnostic yield of TBNA is particularly low for peripheral lesions.Methods:
To overcome these problems the authors developed an image-guided,electromagnetic navigation system for transbronchial interventions. The system provides real time positioning information for the bronchoscope and a transbronchial biopsy instrument with only one preoperatively acquired computed tomographyimage. A twofold respiratory motion compensation method based on a particle filtering approach allows for guidance through the entire respiratory cycle. In order to evaluate our system, 18 transbronchial interventions were performed in seven ventilated swine lungs using a thorax phantom.Results:
All tracked bronchoscope positions were corrected to the inside of the tracheobronchial tree and 80.2% matched the correct bronchus. During regular respiratory motion, the mean overall targeting error for bronchoscope tracking and TBNA needle tracking was with compensation on 10.4 ± 1.7 and 10.8 ± 3.0 mm, compared to 14.4 ± 1.9 and 13.3 ± 2.7 mm with compensation off. The mean fiducial registration error (FRE) was 4.2 ± 1.1 mm.Conclusions:
The navigation system with the proposed respiratory motion compensation method allows for real time guidance during bronchoscopic interventions, and thus could increase the diagnostic yield of transbronchial biopsy.
- RADIATION IMAGING PHYSICS
Robust automatic segmentation of multiple implanted cylindrical gold fiducial markers in cone-beam CT projections38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3658566View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Implanted fiducial markers, which are used to correct for day-to-day variations, may potentially also be used to correct for intrafraction motion measurements. However, before any treatment can make use of, and react to, the position of the inserted markers they have to be segmented, either manually through expert user intervention or automatically from an imaging system. In the current study, we aimed to establish a robust and autonomous segmentation method for implanted cylindrical gold markers in a single set of projections from a cone-beam computed tomography(CBCT).Methods:
Multiple cylindrical gold markers were segmented in the projection images of CBCT scans by five sequential steps. Initially, marker candidates were identified in all projections with a blob detection routine, and then traced in subsequent projections. Traces inconsistent with a 3D marker position were rejected, and the best remaining traces were identified and used for the construction of a 3D marker constellation model, consisting of the size, position and orientation of the markers. Finally, projections of the model were used to generate templates for the final template-based marker segmentation. Hereby, challenging situations such as overlap of markers and low contrast regions were taken into account. The segmentation method was tested in 63 CBCT scans from 11 patients with 2–4 cylindrical gold markers implanted in the prostate and for 62 CBCT scans from six patients each with 2–3 cylindrical gold markers implanted in the liver and up to two cylindrical markers placed externally on the abdomen. After segmentation all projections of the 125 scans were manually inspected, and a successful segmentation was registered if the segmented position was within the projection of the marker.Results:
For prostate markers, the segmentation was successful in 99.8% of the projections. For the liver patients, liver markers and external markers were segmented successfully in 99.9 and 99.8% of the projections, respectively. All markers were identified in the 3D marker constellation model. The most common source of segmentation error was low contrast and motion of markers relative to each other, which resulted in a discrepancy between the template and actual projection appearance during marker overlap. Markers were overlapping in 20, 2.7, and 0.1% of the projections for prostate, liver, and external, respectively.Conclusions:
We have successfully implemented a new method that, without prior knowledge on marker size, position, orientation, and number, autonomously segments cylindrical gold markers from CBCT projections with a high success rate, despite overlap, motion, and low contrast.
38(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3658568View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To evaluate the image quality of virtual monochromatic images synthesized from dual-source dual-energy computed tomography(CT) in comparison with conventional polychromatic single-energy CT for the same radiation dose.Methods:
In dual-energy CT, besides the material-specific information, one may also synthesize monochromatic images at different energies, which can be used for routine diagnosis similar to conventional polychromatic single-energy images. In this work, the authors assessed whether virtual monochromatic images generated from dual-source CTscanners had an image quality similar to that of polychromatic single-energy images for the same radiation dose. First, the authors provided a theoretical analysis of the optimal monochromatic energy for either the minimum noise level or the highest iodine contrast to noise ratio (CNR) for a given patient size and dose partitioning between the low- and high-energy scans. Second, the authors performed an experimental study on a dual-source CTscanner to evaluate the noise and iodine CNR in monochromatic images. A thoracic phantom with three sizes of attenuating rings was used to represent four adult sizes. For each phantom size, three dose partitionings between the low-energy (80 kV) and the high-energy (140 kV) scans were used in the dual-energy scan. Monochromatic images at eight energies (40 to 110 keV) were generated for each scan. Phantoms were also scanned at each of the four polychromatic single energy (80, 100, 120, and 140 kV) with the same radiation dose.Results:
The optimal virtual monochromatic energy depends on several factors: phantom size, partitioning of the radiation dose between low- and high-energy scans, and the image quality metrics to be optimized. With the increase of phantom size, the optimal monochromatic energy increased. With the increased percentage of radiation dose on the low energy scan, the optimal monochromatic energy decreased. When maximizing the iodine CNR in monochromatic images, the optimal energy was lower than that when minimizing noise level. When the total radiation dose was equally distributed between low and high energy in dual-energy scans, for minimum noise, the optimal energies were 68, 71, 74, and 77 keV for small, medium, large, and extra-large (xlarge) phantoms, respectively; for maximum iodine CNR, the optimal energies were 66, 68, 70, 72 keV. With the optimal monochromatic energy, the noise level was similar to and the CNR was better than that in a single-energy scan at 120 kV for the same radiation dose. Compared to an 80 kV scan, however, the iodine CNR in monochromatic images was lower for the small, medium, and large phantoms.Conclusions:
In dual-source dual-energy CT, optimal virtual monochromatic energy depends on patient size, dose partitioning, and the image quality metric optimized. With the optimal monochromatic energy, the noise level was similar to and the iodine CNR was better than that in 120 kV images for the same radiation dose. Compared to single-energy 80 kV images, the iodine CNR in virtual monochromatic images was lower for small to large phantom sizes.