Index of content:
Volume 41, Issue 9, September 2014
- TASK GROUP REPORT (Online only)
Radiation dosimetry in digital breast tomosynthesis: Report of AAPM Tomosynthesis Subcommittee Task Group 22341(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892600View Description Hide Description
The radiation dose involved in any medical imaging modality that uses ionizing radiation needs to be well understood by the medical physics and clinical community. This is especially true of screening modalities. Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has recently been introduced into the clinic and is being used for screening for breast cancer in the general population. Therefore, it is important that the medical physics community have the required information to be able to understand, estimate, and communicate the radiation dose levels involved in breast tomosynthesis imaging. For this purpose, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine Task Group 223 on Dosimetry in Tomosynthesis Imaging has prepared this report that discusses dosimetry in breast imaging in general, and describes a methodology and provides the data necessary to estimate mean breast glandular dose from a tomosynthesis acquisition. In an effort to maximize familiarity with the procedures and data provided in this Report, the methodology to perform the dose estimation in DBT is based as much as possible on that used in mammography dose estimation.
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
A dynamic collimation system for penumbra reduction in spot-scanning proton therapy: Proof of concept41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4837155View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In the absence of a collimation system the lateral penumbra of spot scanning (SS) dose distributions delivered by low energy proton beams is highly dependent on the spot size. For current commercial equipment, spot size increases with decreasing proton energy thereby reducing the benefit of the SS technique. This paper presents a dynamic collimation system (DCS) for sharpening the lateral penumbra of proton therapy dose distributions delivered by SS.Methods:
The collimation system presented here exploits the property that a proton pencil beam used for SS requires collimation only when it is near the target edge, enabling the use of trimmers that are in motion at times when the pencil beam is away from the target edge. The device consists of two pairs of parallel nickel trimmer blades of 2 cm thickness and dimensions of 2 cm × 18 cm in the beam's eye view. The two pairs of trimmer blades are rotated 90° relative to each other to form a rectangular shape. Each trimmer blade is capable of rapid motion in the direction perpendicular to the central beam axis by means of a linear motor, with maximum velocity and acceleration of 2.5 m/s and 19.6 m/s2, respectively. The blades travel on curved tracks to match the divergence of the proton source. An algorithm for selecting blade positions is developed to minimize the dose delivered outside of the target, and treatment plans are created both with and without the DCS.Results:
The snout of the DCS has outer dimensions of 22.6 × 22.6 cm2 and is capable of delivering a minimum treatment field size of 15 × 15 cm2. Using currently available components, the constructed system would weigh less than 20 kg. For irregularly shaped fields, the use of the DCS reduces the mean dose outside of a 2D target of 46.6 cm2 by approximately 40% as compared to an identical plan without collimation. The use of the DCS increased treatment time by 1–3 s per energy layer.Conclusions:
The spread of the lateral penumbra of low-energy SS proton treatments may be greatly reduced with the use of this system at the cost of only a small penalty in delivery time.
41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4890604View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Gated radiotherapy is used to reduce internal motion margins, escalate target dose, and limit normal tissue dose; however, its temporal accuracy is limited. Beam-on and beam-off time delays can lead to treatment inefficiencies and/or geographic misses; therefore, AAPM Task Group 142 recommends verifying the temporal accuracy of gating systems. Many groups use sinusoidal phantom motion for this, under the tacit assumption that use of sinusoidal motion for determining time delays produces negligible error. The authors test this assumption by measuring gating time delays for several realistic motion shapes with increasing degrees of irregularity.Methods:
Time delays were measured on a linear accelerator with a real-time position management system (Varian TrueBeam with RPM system version 1.7.5) for seven motion shapes: regular sinusoidal; regular realistic-shape; large (40%) and small (10%) variations in amplitude; large (40%) variations in period; small (10%) variations in both amplitude and period; and baseline drift (30%). Film streaks of radiation exposure were generated for each motion shape using a programmable motion phantom. Beam-on and beam-off time delays were determined from the difference between the expected and observed streak length.Results:
For the system investigated, all sine, regular realistic-shape, and slightly irregular amplitude variation motions had beam-off and beam-on time delays within the AAPM recommended limit of less than 100 ms. In phase-based gating, even small variations in period resulted in some time delays greater than 100 ms. Considerable time delays over 1 s were observed with highly irregular motion.Conclusions:
Sinusoidal motion shapes can be considered a reasonable approximation to the more complex and slightly irregular shapes of realistic motion. When using phase-based gating with predictive filters even small variations in period can result in time delays over 100 ms. Clinical use of these systems for patients with highly irregular patterns of motion is not advised due to large beam-on and beam-off time delays.
41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892057View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To investigate the influence of the minimum monitor unit (MU) on the quality of clinical treatment plans for scanned proton therapy.Methods:
Delivery system characteristics limit the minimum number of protons that can be delivered per spot, resulting in a min-MU limit. Plan quality can be impacted by the min-MU limit. Two sites were used to investigate the impact of min-MU on treatment plans: pediatric brain tumor at a depth of 5–10 cm; a head and neck tumor at a depth of 1–20 cm. Three-field, intensity modulated spot scanning proton plans were created for each site with the following parameter variations: min-MU limit range of 0.0000–0.0060; and spot spacing range of 2–8 mm. Comparisons were based on target homogeneity and normal tissue sparing. For the pediatric brain, two versions of the treatment planning system were also compared to judge the effects of the min-MU limit based on when it is accounted for in the optimization process (Eclipse v.10 and v.13, Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA).Results:
The increase of the min-MU limit with a fixed spot spacing decreases plan quality both in homogeneous target coverage and in the avoidance of critical structures. Both head and neck and pediatric brain plans show a 20% increase in relative dose for the hot spot in the CTV and 10% increase in key critical structures when comparing min-MU limits of 0.0000 and 0.0060 with a fixed spot spacing of 4 mm. The DVHs of CTVs show min-MU limits of 0.0000 and 0.0010 produce similar plan quality and quality decreases as the min-MU limit increases beyond 0.0020. As spot spacing approaches 8 mm, degradation in plan quality is observed when no min-MU limit is imposed.Conclusions:
Given a fixed spot spacing of ≤4 mm, plan quality decreases as min-MU increased beyond 0.0020. The effect of min-MU needs to be taken into consideration while planning proton therapy treatments.
Technical Note: A method for improving the calibration reproducibility of an ionization chamber detector array41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892607View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
This paper describes an extension to a wide field calibration method implemented on a commercial detector array in order to improve the reproducibility of the calibration procedure.Methods:
Following the standard array calibration procedure, two additional 10 × 10 cm exposures were acquired for each array axis with the detector array shifted by ±10 cm in the transverse or axial axes, or by ±10 cm in the positive or negative diagonal axes. These exposures were compared with a final baseline 10 × 10 cm exposure captured with the detector repositioned at the isocenter. The measurements were used to calculate a linear off-axis correction gradient which was then applied to the stored calibration factors.Results:
The mean coefficient of variation between five repeat calibrations was reduced from 4.17% to 0.48% and the maximum percentage error in individual calibration factors was reduced from 6.46% to 0.77%.Conclusions:
The reproducibility of the calibration factors of an ionization chamber array was increased by capturing a baseline exposure and two further off-axis readings per calibration axis.
41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892605View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To assess and compare the dosimetric impact of dynamic multileaf collimator (DMLC) tracking and gating as motion correction strategies to account for intrafraction motion during conventionally fractionated prostate radiotherapy.Methods:
A dose reconstruction method was used to retrospectively assess the dose distributions delivered without motion correction during volumetric modulated arc therapy fractions for 20 fractions of five prostate cancer patients who received conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. These delivered dose distributions were compared with the dose distributions which would have been delivered had DMLC tracking or gating motion correction strategies been implemented. The delivered dose distributions were constructed by incorporating the observed prostate motion with the patient's original treatment plan to simulate the treatment delivery. The DMLC tracking dose distributions were constructed using the same dose reconstruction method with the addition of MLC positions from Linac log files obtained during DMLC tracking simulations with the observed prostate motions input to the DMLC tracking software. The gating dose distributions were constructed by altering the prostate motion to simulate the application of a gating threshold of 3 mm for 5 s.Results:
The delivered dose distributions showed that dosimetric effects of intrafraction prostate motion could be substantial for some fractions, with an estimated dose decrease of more than 19% and 34% from the planned CTVD 99% and PTV D 95% values, respectively, for one fraction. Evaluation of dose distributions for DMLC tracking and gating deliveries showed that both interventions were effective in improving the CTV D 99% for all of the selected fractions to within 4% of planned value for all fractions. For the delivered dose distributions the difference in rectum V 65% for the individual fractions from planned ranged from −44% to 101% and for the bladder V 65% the range was −61% to 26% from planned. The application of tracking decreased the maximum rectum and bladder V 65% difference to 6% and 4%, respectively.Conclusions:
For the first time, the dosimetric impact of DMLC tracking and gating to account for intrafraction motion during prostate radiotherapy has been assessed and compared with no motion correction. Without motion correction intrafraction prostate motion can result in a significant decrease in target dose coverage for a small number of individual fractions. This is unlikely to effect the overall treatment for most patients undergoing conventionally fractionated treatments. Both DMLC tracking and gating demonstrate dose distributions for all assessed fractions that are robust to intrafraction motion.
41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892930View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Currently in proton radiation therapy, a constant relative biological effectiveness (RBE) equal to 1.1 is assumed. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of disregarding variations in RBE on the comparison of proton and photon treatment plans.Methods:
Intensity modulated treatment plans using photons and protons were created for three brain tumor cases with the target situated close to organs at risk. The proton plans were optimized assuming a standard RBE equal to 1.1, and the resulting linear energy transfer (LET) distribution for the plans was calculated. In the plan evaluation, the effect of a variable RBE was studied. The RBE model used considers the RBE variation with dose, LET, and the tissue specific parameter α/β of photons. The plan comparison was based on dose distributions, DVHs and normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCPs).Results:
Under the assumption of RBE = 1.1, higher doses to the tumor and lower doses to the normal tissues were obtained for the proton plans compared to the photon plans. In contrast, when accounting for RBE variations, the comparison showed lower doses to the tumor and hot spots in organs at risk in the proton plans. These hot spots resulted in higher estimated NTCPs in the proton plans compared to the photon plans.Conclusions:
Disregarding RBE variations might lead to suboptimal proton plans giving lower effect in the tumor and higher effect in normal tissues than expected. For cases where the target is situated close to structures sensitive to hot spot doses, this trend may lead to bias in favor of proton plans in treatment plan comparisons.
A two dimensional silicon detectors array for quality assurance in stereotactic radiotherapy: MagicPlate-51241(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892384View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Silicon diode arrays are commonly implemented in radiation therapy quality assurance applications as they have a number of advantages including: real time operation (compared to the film) and high spatial resolution, large dynamic range and small size (compared to ionizing chambers). Most diode arrays have detector pitch that is too coarse for routine use in small field applications. The goal of this work is to characterize the two-dimensional monolithic silicon diode array named “MagicPlate-512” (MP512) designed for QA in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radio surgery (SRS).Methods:
MP512 is a silicon monolithic detector manufactured on ap-type substrate. An array contains of 512 pixels with size 0.5 × 0.5 mm2 and pitch 2 mm with an overall dimension of 52 × 52 mm2. The MP512 monolithic detector is wire bonded on a printed circuit board 0.5 mm thick and covered by a thin layer of raisin to preserve the silicon detector from moisture and chemical contamination and to protect the bonding wires. Characterization of the silicon monolithic diode array response was performed, and included pixels response uniformity, dose linearity, percent depth dose, output factor, and beam profiling for beam sizes relevant to SBRT and SRS and depth dose response in comparison with ionization chamber.Results:
MP512 shows a good dose linearity (R2 = 0.998) and repeatability within 0.2%. The measured depth dose response for field size of 10 × 10 cm2 agreed to within 1.3%, when compared to a CC13 ionization chamber for depths in PMMA up to 30 cm. The output factor of a 6 MV Varian 2100EX medical linac beam measured by MP512 at the isocenter agrees to within 2% when compared to PTW diamond, Scanditronix point EDD-2 diode and MOSkin detectors for field sizes down to 1 × 1 cm2. An over response of 4% was observed for square beam size smaller than 1 cm when compared to EBT3 films, while the beam profiles (FWHM) of MP512 match to within 2% the data measured by radiochromic film.Conclusions:
The response of the 2D detector array, MP512, has been evaluated. The properties of the array demonstrated suitability for use as in phantom dosimeter for QA in SRS and SBRT. Although MP512 matches film measurements down to 1 × 1 cm2 well, it showed a discrepancy of 4% in the determination of output factors of beams smaller than 0.5 × 0.5 cm2 due to the field perturbation generated by the large amount of silicon surrounding the central diode. MP512 is highly capable of measuring beam size (FWHM) and has a discrepancy of less than 1.3% when compared to EBT3 film. A reduction in the detector pitch to less than 2 mm would improve the penumbra reconstruction accuracy at the cost readout electronics complexity.
The Octavius1500 2D ion chamber array and its associated phantoms: Dosimetric characterization of a new prototype41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892178View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The purpose of the study is to characterize the prototype of the new Octavius1500 (PTW, Freiburg, Germany) 2D ion chamber array, covering its use in different phantom setups, from the most basic solid water sandwich setup to the more complex cylindrical Octavius® 4D (Oct4D) (PTW) phantom/detector combination. The new detector houses nearly twice the amount of ion chambers as its predecessors (Seven29 and Octavius729), thereby tackling one of the most important limitations of ion chamber (or diode) arrays, namely the limited detector density. The 0.06 cm3 cubic ion chambers are now arranged in a checkerboard pattern, leaving no lines (neither longitudinally nor laterally) without detectors.Methods:
All measurements were performed on a dual energy (6 MV and 18 MV) iX Clinac (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) and all calculations were done in the Eclipse treatment planning system (Varian) with the Anisotropic Analytical Algorithm. First, the basic characteristics of the 2D array, such as measurement stability, dose rate dependence and dose linearity were investigated in the solid water sandwich setup. Second, the directional dependence was assessed to allow the evaluation of the new Octavius2D phantom (Oct2D1500) for planar verification measurements of composite plans. Third, measurements were performed in the Oct4D phantom to evaluate the impact of the increased detector density on the accuracy of the volumetric dose reconstruction.Results:
While showing equally good dose linearity and dose rate independence, the Octavius1500 outperforms the previous models because of its instantaneous measurement stability and its twofold active area coverage. Orthogonal field-by-field measurements immediately benefit from the increased detector density. The 3.9 cm wide compensation cavity in the new Oct2D1500 phantom prototype adequately corrects for directional dependence from the rear, resulting in good agreement within the target dose. Discrepancies may arise towards the sides of the array because of uncompensated lateral beam incidence. The beneficial impact of the detector density is most prominent in the Oct4D system, for which the average pass rate (PR) is now nearly 100% (99.31 ± 0.37) when using gamma criteria of 2%G,2 mm (10% dose threshold). In search of gamma analysis criteria that are not too lenient to detect possibly relevant deviations, the authors conclude that for our radiotherapy environment, the authors choose to adopt 3%L,3 mm PR97% (threshold 10%) criteria for the Oct2D1500/Octavius1500 system and 2%L,3 mm PR97% (threshold 10%) for the Oct4D/Octavius1500 system. These are first line pass/check criteria and plans that fail are not necessarily rejected, but submitted to a more detailed investigation.Conclusions:
When irradiated from the front, the Octavius1500 array has two main advantages over its 729 predecessors: its instantaneous measurement stability and-–most importantly—its twofold detector density. In the Oct2D1500 phantom, these advantages are counterbalanced by the more pronounced directional dependence. The measurement-based 3D dose reconstruction in the Oct4D system, however, benefits considerably from the higher detector density in the checkerboard panel design.
A novel approach for evaluation of prostate deformation and associated dosimetric implications in IGRT of the prostate41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4893196View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Prostate deformation is assumed to be a secondary correction and is typically ignored in the planning target volume (PTV) margin calculations. This assumption needs to be tested, especially when planning margins are reduced with daily image-guidance. In this study, deformation characteristics of the prostate and seminal vesicles were determined, and the dosimetric impact on treatment plans with different PTV margins was investigated.Methods:
Ten prostate cancer patients were retrospectively selected for the study, each with three fiducial markers implanted in the prostate. Two hundred CBCT images were registered to respective planning CT images using a B-spline-based deformable image registration (DIR) software. A manual bony anatomy-based match was first applied based on the alignment of the pelvic bones and fiducial landmarks. DIR was then performed. For each registration, deformation vector fields (DVFs) of the prostate and seminal vesicles (SVs) were quantified using deformation-volume histograms. In addition, prostate rotation was evaluated and compared with prostate deformation. For a patient demonstrating small and large prostate deformations, target coverage degradation was analyzed in each of three treatment plans with PTV margins of 10 mm (6 mm at the prostate/rectum interface), as well as 5, and 3 mm uniformly.Results:
Deformation of the prostate was most significant in the anterior direction. Maximum prostate deformation of greater than 10, 5, and 3 mm occurred in 1%, 17%, and 76% of the cases, respectively. Based on DVF-histograms, DVF magnitudes greater than 5 and 3 mm occurred in 2% and 27% of the cases, respectively. Deformation of the SVs was most significant in the posterior direction, and it was greater than 5 and 3 mm in 7.5% and 44.9% of the cases, respectively. Prostate deformation was found to be poorly correlated with rotation. Fifty percent of the cases showed rotation with negligible deformation and 7% of the cases showed significant deformation with minimal rotation (<3°). Average differences in the D95 dose to the prostate + SVs between the planning CT and CBCT images was 0.4% ± 0.5%, 3.0% ± 2.8%, and 6.6% ± 6.1%, respectively, for the plans with 10/6, 5, and 3 mm margins. For the case with both a large degree of prostate deformation (≈10% of the prostate volume) and rotation (≈8°), D95 was reduced by 0.5% ± 0.1%, 6.8% ± 0.6%, and 20.9% ± 1.6% for 10/6, 5, and 3 mm margin plans, respectively. For the case with large prostate deformation but negligible rotation (<1°), D95 was reduced by 0.4 ± 0.3, 3.9 ± 1.0, and 11.5 ± 2.5 for 10/6, 5, and 3 mm margin plans, respectively.Conclusions:
Prostate deformation over a course of fractionated prostate radiotherapy may not be insignificant and may need to be accounted for in the planning margin design. A consequence of these results is that use of highly reduced planning margins must be viewed with caution.
Development of a golden beam data set for the commissioning of a proton double-scattering system in a pencil-beam dose calculation algorithm41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4893281View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The purpose of this investigation is to determine if a single set of beam data, described by a minimal set of equations and fitting variables, can be used to commission different installations of a proton double-scattering system in a commercial pencil-beam dose calculation algorithm.Methods:
The beam model parameters required to commission the pencil-beam dose calculation algorithm (virtual and effective SAD, effective source size, and pristine-peak energy spread) are determined for a commercial double-scattering system. These parameters are measured in a first room and parameterized as function of proton energy and nozzle settings by fitting four analytical equations to the measured data. The combination of these equations and fitting values constitutes the golden beam data (GBD). To determine the variation in dose delivery between installations, the same dosimetric properties are measured in two additional rooms at the same facility, as well as in a single room at another facility. The difference between the room-specific measurements and the GBD is evaluated against tolerances that guarantee the 3D dose distribution in each of the rooms matches the GBD-based dose distribution within clinically reasonable limits. The pencil-beam treatment-planning algorithm is commissioned with the GBD. The three-dimensional dose distribution in water is evaluated in the four treatment rooms and compared to the treatment-planning calculated dose distribution.Results:
The virtual and effective SAD measurements fall between 226 and 257 cm. The effective source size varies between 2.4 and 6.2 cm for the large-field options, and 1.0 and 2.0 cm for the small-field options. The pristine-peak energy spread decreases from 1.05% at the lowest range to 0.6% at the highest. The virtual SAD as well as the effective source size can be accurately described by a linear relationship as function of the inverse of the residual energy. An additional linear correction term as function of RM-step thickness is required for accurate parameterization of the effective SAD. The GBD energy spread is given by a linear function of the exponential of the beam energy. Except for a few outliers, the measured parameters match the GBD within the specified tolerances in all of the four rooms investigated. For a SOBP field with a range of 15 g/cm2 and an air gap of 25 cm, the maximum difference in the 80%–20% lateral penumbra between the GBD-commissioned treatment-planning system and measurements in any of the four rooms is 0.5 mm.Conclusions:
The beam model parameters of the double-scattering system can be parameterized with a limited set of equations and parameters. This GBD closely matches the measured dosimetric properties in four different rooms.
The influence of patient positioning uncertainties in proton radiotherapy on proton range and dose distributions41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892601View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Proton radiotherapy allows radiation treatment delivery with high dose gradients. The nature of such dose distributions increases the influence of patient positioning uncertainties on their fidelity when compared to photon radiotherapy. The present work quantitatively analyzes the influence of setup uncertainties on proton range and dose distributions.Methods:
Thirty-eight clinical passive scattering treatment fields for small lesions in the head were studied. Dose distributions for shifted and rotated patient positions were Monte Carlo-simulated. Proton range uncertainties at the 50%- and 90%-dose falloff position were calculated considering 18 arbitrary combinations of maximal patient position shifts and rotations for two patient positioning methods. Normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCPs), equivalent uniform doses (EUDs), and tumor control probabilities (TCPs) were studied for organs at risk (OARs) and target volumes of eight patients.Results:
The authors identified a median 1σ proton range uncertainty at the 50%-dose falloff of 2.8 mm for anatomy-based patient positioning and 1.6 mm for fiducial-based patient positioning as well as 7.2 and 5.8 mm for the 90%-dose falloff position, respectively. These range uncertainties were correlated to heterogeneity indices (HIs) calculated for each treatment field (38% < R 2 < 50%). A NTCP increase of more than 10% (absolute) was observed for less than 2.9% (anatomy-based positioning) and 1.2% (fiducial-based positioning) of the studied OARs and patient shifts. For target volumes TCP decreases by more than 10% (absolute) occurred in less than 2.2% of the considered treatment scenarios for anatomy-based patient positioning and were nonexistent for fiducial-based patient positioning. EUD changes for target volumes were up to 35% (anatomy-based positioning) and 16% (fiducial-based positioning).Conclusions:
The influence of patient positioning uncertainties on proton range in therapy of small lesions in the human brain as well as target and OAR dosimetry were studied. Observed range uncertainties were correlated with HIs. The clinical practice of using multiple fields with smeared compensators while avoiding distal OAR sparing is considered to be safe.
An image-guidance system for dynamic dose calculation in prostate brachytherapy using ultrasound and fluoroscopy41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4893761View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Brachytherapy is a standard option of care for prostate cancer patients but may be improved by dynamic dose calculation based on localized seed positions. The American Brachytherapy Society states that the major current limitation of intraoperative treatment planning is the inability to localize the seeds in relation to the prostate. An image-guidance system was therefore developed to localize seeds for dynamic dose calculation.Methods:
The proposed system is based on transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) and mobile C-arm fluoroscopy, while using a simple fiducial with seed-like markers to compute pose from the nonencoded C-arm. Three or more fluoroscopic images and an ultrasound volume are acquired and processed by a pipeline of algorithms: (1) seed segmentation, (2) fiducial detection with pose estimation, (3) seed matching with reconstruction, and (4) fluoroscopy-to-TRUS registration.Results:
The system was evaluated on ten phantom cases, resulting in an overall mean error of 1.3 mm. The system was also tested on 37 patients and each algorithm was evaluated. Seed segmentation resulted in a 1% false negative rate and 2% false positive rate. Fiducial detection with pose estimation resulted in a 98% detection rate. Seed matching with reconstruction had a mean error of 0.4 mm. Fluoroscopy-to-TRUS registration had a mean error of 1.3 mm. Moreover, a comparison of dose calculations between the authors’ intraoperative method and an independent postoperative method shows a small difference of 7% and 2% forD 90 and V 100, respectively. Finally, the system demonstrated the ability to detect cold spots and required a total processing time of approximately 1 min.Conclusions:
The proposed image-guidance system is the first practical approach to dynamic dose calculation, outperforming earlier solutions in terms of robustness, ease of use, and functional completeness.
- RADIATION IMAGING PHYSICS
41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892181View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Surgical interventions to the orbital space behind the eyeball are limited to highly invasive procedures due to the confined nature of the region along with the presence of several intricate soft tissue structures. A minimally invasive approach to orbital surgery would enable several therapeutic options, particularly new treatment protocols for optic neuropathies such as glaucoma. The authors have developed an image-guided system for the purpose of navigating a thin flexible endoscope to a specified target region behind the eyeball. Navigation within the orbit is particularly challenging despite its small volume, as the presence of fat tissue occludes the endoscopic visual field while the surgeon must constantly be aware of optic nerve position. This research investigates the impact of endoscopic video augmentation to targeted image-guided navigation in a series of anthropomorphic phantom experiments.Methods:
A group of 16 surgeons performed a target identification task within the orbits of four skull phantoms. The task consisted of identifying the correct target, indicated by the augmented video and the preoperative imaging frames, out of four possibilities. For each skull, one orbital intervention was performed with video augmentation, while the other was done with the standard image guidance technique, in random order.Results:
The authors measured a target identification accuracy of 95.3% and 85.9% for the augmented and standard cases, respectively, with statistically significant improvement in procedure time (Z = −2.044, p = 0.041) and intraoperator mean procedure time (Z = 2.456, p = 0.014) when augmentation was used.Conclusions:
Improvements in both target identification accuracy and interventional procedure time suggest that endoscopic video augmentation provides valuable additional orientation and trajectory information in an image-guided procedure. Utilization of video augmentation in transorbital interventions could further minimize complication risk and enhance surgeon comfort and confidence in the procedure.
Amorphous In–Ga–Zn–O thin-film transistor active pixel sensor x-ray imager for digital breast tomosynthesis41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892382View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The breast cancer detection rate for digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is limited by the x-ray image quality. The limiting Nyquist frequency for current DBT systems is around 5 lp/mm, while the fine image details contained in the high spatial frequency region (>5 lp/mm) are lost. Also today the tomosynthesis patient dose is high (0.67–3.52 mGy). To address current issues, in this paper, for the first time, a high-resolution low-dose organic photodetector/amorphous In–Ga–Zn–O thin-film transistor (a-IGZO TFT) active pixel sensor (APS) x-ray imager is proposed for next generation DBT systems.Methods:
The indirect x-ray detector is based on a combination of a novel low-cost organic photodiode (OPD) and a cesium iodide-based (CsI:Tl) scintillator. The proposed APS x-ray imager overcomes the difficulty of weak signal detection, when small pixel size and low exposure conditions are used, by an on-pixel signal amplification with a significant charge gain. The electrical performance of a-IGZO TFT APS pixel circuit is investigated by SPICE simulation using modified Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) TFT model. Finally, the noise, detective quantum efficiency (DQE), and resolvability of the complete system are modeled using the cascaded system formalism.Results:
The result demonstrates that a large charge gain of 31–122 is achieved for the proposed high-mobility (5–20 cm2/V s) amorphous metal-oxide TFT APS. The charge gain is sufficient to eliminate the TFT thermal noise, flicker noise as well as the external readout circuit noise. Moreover, the low TFT (<10−13 A) and OPD (<10−8 A/cm2) leakage currents can further reduce the APS noise. Cascaded system analysis shows that the proposed APS imager with a 75 μm pixel pitch can effectively resolve the Nyquist frequency of 6.67 lp/mm, which can be further improved to ∼10 lp/mm if the pixel pitch is reduced to 50 μm. Moreover, the detector entrance exposure per projection can be reduced from 1 to 0.3 mR without a significant reduction of DQE. The signal-to-noise ratio of the a-IGZO APS imager under 0.3 mR x-ray exposure is comparable to that of a-Si:H passive pixel sensor imager under 1 mR, indicating good image quality under low dose. A threefold reduction of current tomosynthesis dose is expected if proposed technology is combined with an advanced DBT image reconstruction method.Conclusions:
The proposed a-IGZO APS x-ray imager with a pixel pitch <75 μm is capable to achieve a high spatial frequency (>6.67 lp/mm) and a low dose (<0.4 mGy) in next generation DBT systems.
Characteristic performance evaluation of a photon counting Si strip detector for low dose spectral breast CT imaging41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892174View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The possible clinical applications which can be performed using a newly developed detector depend on the detector's characteristic performance in a number of metrics including the dynamic range, resolution, uniformity, and stability. The authors have evaluated a prototype energy resolved fast photon counting x-ray detector based on a silicon (Si) strip sensor used in an edge-on geometry with an application specific integrated circuit to record the number of x-rays and their energies at high flux and fast frame rates. The investigated detector was integrated with a dedicated breast spectral computed tomography (CT) system to make use of the detector's high spatial and energy resolution and low noise performance under conditions suitable for clinical breast imaging. The aim of this article is to investigate the intrinsic characteristics of the detector, in terms of maximum output count rate, spatial and energy resolution, and noise performance of the imaging system.Methods:
The maximum output count rate was obtained with a 50 W x-ray tube with a maximum continuous output of 50 kVp at 1.0 mA. A109Cd source, with a characteristic x-ray peak at 22 keV from Ag, was used to measure the energy resolution of the detector. The axial plane modulation transfer function (MTF) was measured using a 67 μm diameter tungsten wire. The two-dimensional (2D) noise power spectrum (NPS) was measured using flat field images and noise equivalent quanta (NEQ) were calculated using the MTF and NPS results. The image quality parameters were studied as a function of various radiation doses and reconstruction filters. The one-dimensional (1D) NPS was used to investigate the effect of electronic noise elimination by varying the minimum energy threshold.Results:
A maximum output count rate of 100 million counts per second per square millimeter (cps/mm2) has been obtained (1 million cps per 100 × 100 μm pixel). The electrical noise floor was less than 4 keV. The energy resolution measured with the 22 keV photons from a 109Cd source was less than 9%. A reduction of image noise was shown in all the spatial frequencies in 1D NPS as a result of the elimination of the electronic noise. The spatial resolution was measured just above 5 line pairs per mm (lp/mm) where 10% of MTF corresponded to 5.4 mm−1. The 2D NPS and NEQ shows a low noise floor and a linear dependence on dose. The reconstruction filter choice affected both of the MTF and NPS results, but had a weak effect on the NEQ.Conclusions:
The prototype energy resolved photon counting Si strip detector can offer superior imaging performance for dedicated breast CT as compared to a conventional energy-integrating detector due to its high output count rate, high spatial and energy resolution, and low noise characteristics, which are essential characteristics for spectral breast CT imaging.
41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4890775View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The early detection of cerebral aneurysms plays a major role in preventing subarachnoid hemorrhage. The authors present a system to automatically detect cerebral aneurysms in multimodal 3D angiographic data sets. The authors’ system is parametrizable for contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA), time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography (TOF-MRA), and computed tomography angiography (CTA).Methods:
Initial volumes of interest are found by applying a multiscale sphere-enhancing filter. Several features are combined in a linear discriminant function (LDF) to distinguish between true aneurysms and false positives. The features include shape information, spatial information, and probability information. The LDF can either be parametrized by domain experts or automatically by training. Vessel segmentation is avoided as it could heavily influence the detection algorithm.Results:
The authors tested their method with 151 clinical angiographic data sets containing 112 aneurysms. The authors reach a sensitivity of 95% with CE-MRA data sets at an average false positive rate per data set (FPDS) of 8.2. For TOF-MRA, we achieve 95% sensitivity at 11.3 FPDS. For CTA, we reach a sensitivity of 95% at 22.8 FPDS. For all modalities, the expert parametrization led to similar or better results than the trained parametrization eliminating the need for training. 93% of aneurysms that were smaller than 5 mm were found. The authors also showed that their algorithm is capable of detecting aneurysms that were previously overlooked by radiologists.Conclusions:
The authors present an automatic system to detect cerebral aneurysms in multimodal angiographic data sets. The system proved as a suitable computer-aided detection tool to help radiologists find cerebral aneurysms.
Assessing and accounting for the impact of respiratory motion on FDG uptake and viable volume for liver lesions in free-breathing PET using respiration-suspended PET images as reference41(2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4892602View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To assess and account for the impact of respiratory motion on the variability of activity and volume determination of liver tumor in positron emission tomography (PET) through a comparison between free-breathing (FB) and respiration-suspended (RS) PET images.Methods:
As part of a PET/computed tomography (CT) guided percutaneous liver ablation procedure performed on a PET/CT scanner, a patient's breathing is suspended on a ventilator, allowing the acquisition of a near-motionless PET and CT reference images of the liver. In this study, baseline RS and FB PET/CT images of 20 patients undergoing thermal ablation were acquired. The RS PET provides near-motionless reference in a human study, and thereby allows a quantitative evaluation of the effect of respiratory motion on PET images obtained under FB conditions. Two methods were applied to calculate tumor activity and volume: (1) threshold-based segmentation (TBS), estimating the total lesion glycolysis (TLG) and the segmented volume and (2) histogram-based estimation (HBE), yielding the background-subtracted lesion (BSL) activity and associated volume. The TBS method employs 50% of the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) as the threshold for tumors with SUVmax ≥ 2× SUV liver-bkg , and tumor activity above this threshold yields TLG50%. The HBE method determines local PET background based on a Gaussian fit of the low SUV peak in a SUV-volume histogram, which is generated within a user-defined and optimized volume of interest containing both local background and lesion uptakes. Voxels with PET intensity above the fitted background were considered to have originated from the tumor and used to calculate the BSL activity and its associated lesion volume.Results:
Respiratory motion caused SUVmax to decrease from RS to FB by −15% ± 11% (p = 0.01). Using TBS method, there was also a decrease in SUVmean (−18% ± 9%, p = 0.01), but an increase in TLG50% (18% ± 36%) and in the segmented volume (47% ± 52%, p = 0.01) from RS to FB PET images. The background uptake in normal liver was stable, 1% ± 9%. In contrast, using the HBE method, the differences in both BSL activity and BSL volume from RS to FB were −8% ± 10% (p = 0.005) and 0% ± 16% (p = 0.94), respectively.Conclusions:
This is the first time that almost motion-free PET images of the human liver were acquired and compared to free-breathing PET. The BSL method's results are more consistent, for the calculation of both tumor activity and volume in RS and FB PET images, than those using conventional TBS. This suggests that the BSL method might be less sensitive to motion blurring and provides an improved estimation of tumor activity and volume in the presence of respiratory motion.