Evaluation of ultra-low-dose paediatric cone-beam computed tomography for image-guided radiotherapy
de Jong, R.
Aznar, Marianne Camille
Whitfield, Gillian A
van Herk, Marcel
AffiliationDivision of Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
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AbstractAims: In image-guided radiotherapy, daily cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is rarely applied to children due to concerns over imaging dose. Simulating low-dose CBCT can aid clinical protocol design by allowing visualisation of new scan protocols in patients without delivering additional dose. This work simulated ultra-low-dose CBCT and evaluated its use for paediatric image-guided radiotherapy by assessment of image registration accuracy and visual image quality. Materials and methods: Ultra-low-dose CBCT was simulated by adding the appropriate amount of noise to projection images prior to reconstruction. This simulation was validated in phantoms before application to paediatric patient data. Scans from 20 patients acquired at our current clinical protocol (0.8 mGy) were simulated for a range of ultra-low doses (0.5, 0.4, 0.2 and 0.125 mGy) creating 100 scans in total. Automatic registration accuracy was assessed in all 100 scans. Inter-observer registration variation was next assessed for a subset of 40 scans (five scans at each simulated dose and 20 scans at the current clinical protocol). This subset was assessed for visual image quality by Likert scale grading of registration performance and visibility of target coverage, organs at risk, soft-tissue structures and bony anatomy. Results: Simulated and acquired phantom scans were in excellent agreement. For patient scans, bony atomy registration discrepancies for ultra-low-dose scans fell within 2 mm (translation) and 1° (rotation) compared with the current clinical protocol, with excellent inter-observer agreement. Soft-tissue registration showed large discrepancies. Bone visualisation and registration performance reached over 75% acceptability (rated 'well' or 'very well') down to the lowest doses. Soft-tissue visualisation did not reach this threshold for any dose. Conclusion: Ultra-low-dose CBCT was accurately simulated and evaluated in patient data. Patient scans simulated down to 0.125 mGy were appropriate for bony anatomy set-up. The large dose reduction could allow for more frequent (e.g. daily) image guidance and, hence, more accurate set-up for paediatric radiotherapy.
CitationBryce-Atkinson A, de Jong R, Bel A, Aznar MC, Whitfield G, van Herk M. Evaluation of Ultra-low-dose Paediatric Cone-beam Computed Tomography for Image-guided Radiotherapy. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2020;32(12):835-44.
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