Pixel value to electron density conversion for a Megavoltage Cone Beam CT System

Hughes, Jessica, Holloway, Lois, & Fielding, Andrew (2008) Pixel value to electron density conversion for a Megavoltage Cone Beam CT System. Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, 31(4), pp. 507-508.

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Introduction: The motivation for developing megavoltage (and kilovoltage) cone beam CT (MV CBCT) capabilities in the radiotherapy treatment room was primarily based on the need to improve patient set-up accuracy. There has recently been an interest in using the cone beam CT data for treatment planning. Accurate treatment planning, however, requires knowledge of the electron density of the tissues receiving radiation in order to calculate dose distributions. This is obtained from CT, utilising a conversion between CT number and electron density of various tissues. The use of MV CBCT has particular advantages compared to treatment planning with kilovoltage CT in the presence of high atomic number materials and requires the conversion of pixel values from the image sets to electron density. Therefore, a study was undertaken to characterise the pixel value to electron density relationship for the Siemens MV CBCT system, MVision, and determine the effect, if any, of differing the number of monitor units used for acquisition. If a significant difference with number of monitor units was seen then pixel value to ED conversions may be required for each of the clinical settings. The calibration of the MV CT images for electron density offers the possibility for a daily recalculation of the dose distribution and the introduction of new adaptive radiotherapy treatment strategies.

Methods: A Gammex Electron Density CT Phantom was imaged with the MVCB CT system. The pixel value for each of the sixteen inserts, which ranged from 0.292 to 1.707 relative electron density to the background solid water, was determined by taking the mean value from within a region of interest centred on the insert, over 5 slices within the centre of the phantom. These results were averaged and plotted against the relative electron densities of each insert with a linear least squares fit was preformed. This procedure was performed for images acquired with 5, 8, 15 and 60 monitor units. Results: The linear relationship between MVCT pixel value and ED was demonstrated for all monitor unit settings and over a range of electron densities. The number of monitor units utilised was found to have no significant impact on this relationship.

Discussion: It was found that the number of MU utilised does not significantly alter the pixel value obtained for different ED materials. However, to ensure the most accurate and reproducible MV to ED calibration, one MU setting should be chosen and used routinely. To ensure accuracy for the clinical situation this MU setting should correspond to that which is used clinically. If more than one MU setting is used clinically then an average of the CT values acquired with different numbers of MU could be utilized without loss in accuracy.

Conclusions: No significant differences have been shown between the pixel value to ED conversion for the Siemens MV CT cone beam unit with change in monitor units. Thus as single conversion curve could be utilised for MV CT treatment planning. To fully utilise MV CT imaging for radiotherapy treatment planning further work will be undertaken to ensure all corrections have been made and dose calculations verified. These dose calculations may be either for treatment planning purposes or for reconstructing the delivered dose distribution from transit dosimetry measurements made using electronic portal imaging devices. This will potentially allow the cumulative dose distribution to be determined through the patient’s multi-fraction treatment and adaptive treatment strategies developed to optimize the tumour response.

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ID Code: 61194
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0158-9938
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 08 Jul 2013 06:05
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2013 06:05

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