An image-based method to synchronize cone-beam CT and optical surface tracking

Aurora Fassi, Joël Schaerer, Marco Riboldi, David Sarrut, Guido Baroni
Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics 2015 March 8, 16 (2): 5152
The integration of in-room X-ray imaging and optical surface tracking has gained increasing importance in the field of image guided radiotherapy (IGRT). An essential step for this integration consists of temporally synchronizing the acquisition of X-ray projections and surface data. We present an image-based method for the synchronization of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and optical surface systems, which does not require the use of additional hardware. The method is based on optically tracking the motion of a component of the CBCT/gantry unit, which rotates during the acquisition of the CBCT scan. A calibration procedure was implemented to relate the position of the rotating component identified by the optical system with the time elapsed since the beginning of the CBCT scan, thus obtaining the temporal correspondence between the acquisition of X-ray projections and surface data. The accuracy of the proposed synchronization method was evaluated on a motorized moving phantom, performing eight simultaneous acquisitions with an Elekta Synergy CBCT machine and the AlignRT optical device. The median time difference between the sinusoidal peaks of phantom motion signals extracted from the synchronized CBCT and AlignRT systems ranged between -3.1 and 12.9 msec, with a maximum interquartile range of 14.4 msec. The method was also applied to clinical data acquired from seven lung cancer patients, demonstrating the potential of the proposed approach in estimating the individual and daily variations in respiratory parameters and motion correlation of internal and external structures. The presented synchronization method can be particularly useful for tumor tracking applications in extracranial radiation treatments, especially in the field of patient-specific breathing models, based on the correlation between internal tumor motion and external surface surrogates.

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