Extraction of tumor motion trajectories using PICCS-4DCBCT: a validation study

Zhihua Qi, Guang-Hong Chen
Medical Physics 2011, 38 (10): 5530-8

PURPOSE: As a counterpart of 4DCT in the treatment planning stage of radiotherapy treatment, 4D cone beam computed tomography (4DCBCT) method has been proposed to verify tumor motion trajectories before radiation therapy treatment delivery. Besides 4DCBCT acquisition using slower gantry rotation speed or multiple rotations, a new method using the prior image constrained compressed sensing (PICCS) image reconstruction method and the standard 1-min data acquisition were proposed. In this paper, the PICCS-4DCBCT method was combined with deformable registration to validate its capability in motion trajectory extraction using physical phantom data, simulated human subject data from 4DCT and in vivo human subject data.

METHODS: Two methods were used to validate PICCS-4DCBCT for the purpose of respiratory motion delineation. The standard 1-min gantry rotation Cone Beam CT acquisition was used for both methods. In the first method, 4DCBCT projection data of a physical motion phantom were acquired using an on-board CBCT acquisition system (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA). Using a deformable registration method, the object motion trajectories were extracted from both FBP and PICCS reconstructed 4DCBCT images, and compared against the programmed motion trajectories. In the second method, using a clinical 4DCT dataset, Cone Beam CT projections were simulated by forward projection. Using a deformable registration method, the tumor motion trajectories were extracted from the reconstructed 4DCT and PICCS-4DCBCT images. The performance of PICCS-4DCBCT is assessed against the 4DCT ground truth. The breathing period was varied in the simulation to study its effect on motion extraction. For both validation methods, the root mean square error (RMSE) and the maximum of the errors (MaxE) were used to quantify the accuracy of the extracted motion trajectories. After the validation, a clinical dataset was used to demonstrate the motion delineation capability of PICCS-4DCBCT for human subjects.

RESULTS: In both validation studies, the RMSEs of the extracted motion trajectories from PICCS-4DCBCT images are less than 0.7 mm, and their MaxEs are less than 1 mm, for all three directions. In comparison, FBP-4DCBCT shows considerably larger RMSEs in the physical phantom based validation. PICCS-4DCBCT also shows insensitivity to the breathing period in the 4DCT based validation. For the in vivo human subject study, high quality 3D motion trajectory of the tumor was obtained from PICCS-4DCBCT images and showed consistency with visual observation.

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate accurate delineation of tumor motion trajectory can be achieved using PICCS-4DCBCT and the standard 1-min data acquisition.

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