Dual-energy imaging method to improve the image quality and the accuracy of dose calculation for cone-beam computed tomography.Phys Med. 2017 Apr; 36:110-118.PM
To improve the image quality and accuracy of dose calculation for cone-beam computed tomography (CT) images through implementation of a dual-energy cone-beam computed tomography method (DE-CBCT), and evaluate the improvement quantitatively.
Two sets of CBCT projections were acquired using the X-ray volumetric imaging (XVI) system on a Synergy (Elekta, Stockholm, Sweden) system with 120kV (high) and 70kV (low) X-rays, respectively. Then, the electron density relative to water (relative electron density (RED)) of each voxel was calculated using a projection-based dual-energy decomposition method. As a comparison, single-energy cone-beam computed tomography (SE-CBCT) was used to calculate RED with the Hounsfield unit-RED calibration curve generated by a CIRS phantom scan with identical imaging parameters. The imaging dose was measured with a dosimetry phantom. The image quality was evaluated quantitatively using a Catphan 503 phantom with the evaluation indices of the reproducibility of the RED values, high-contrast resolution (MTF50%), uniformity, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Dose calculation of two simulated volumetric-modulated arc therapy plans using an Eclipse treatment-planning system (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, USA) was performed on an Alderson Rando Head and Neck (H&N) phantom and a Pelvis phantom. Fan-beam planning CT images for the H&N and Pelvis phantom were set as the reference. A global three-dimensional gamma analysis was used to compare dose distributions with the reference. The average gamma values for targets and OAR were analyzed with paired t-tests between DE-CBCT and SE-CBCT.
In two scans (H&N scan and body scan), the imaging dose of DE-CBCT increased by 1.0% and decreased by 1.3%. It had a better reproducibility of the RED values (mean bias: 0.03 and 0.07) compared with SE-CBCT (mean bias: 0.13 and 0.16). It also improved the image uniformity (57.5% and 30.1%) and SNR (9.7% and 2.3%), but did not affect the MTF50%. Gamma analyses of the 3D dose distribution with criteria of 1%/1mm showed a pass rate of 99.0-100% and 85.3-97.6% for DE-CBCT and 73.5-99.1% and 80.4-92.7% for SE-CBCT. The average gamma values were reduced significantly by DE-CBCT (p< 0.05). Gamma index maps showed that matching of the dose distribution between CBCT-based and reference was improved by DE-CBCT.
DE-CBCT can achieve both better image quality and higher accuracy of dose calculation, and could be applied to adaptive radiotherapy.