IJMPCERO  Vol.4 No.2 , May 2015
Tissue Density Mapping of Cone Beam CT Images for Accurate Dose Calculations
Purpose: To improve the accuracy in megavoltage photon beam dose calculation in CBCT-based radiation treatment (RT) plans, using a kilovoltage cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT)-to-density-step (CBCT-SF) function. Materials and Methods: The CBCT-SF table is constructed from differential histograms of the voxel values of CBCT and Fan-beam CT (FBCT). From the CBCT histograms, frequency peaks representing air, lung, soft tissue and bone are observed and their widths in CT numbers are assigned to the lower and higher bounds of the steps in the CBCT-SF. The CBCT-SF is entered into a planning system as an alternative to the clinical CT-to-density table. The CT image sets studied in this work consist of FBCT and CBCT scans of three patients: a prostate cancer patient, a lung cancer patient and a head and neck patient; and of a humanoid phantom at sections of the pelvis, the thorax and the head. Deformable image registration is used to map the patient FBCT scans to the corresponding CBCT images to minimize anatomical variations. Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plans are made on the FBCT image sets of the patients and the phantom. The plans are recalculated on the CBCT scans using both the conventional CT-to-density table and the CBCT-SF. Dose calculations on the CBCT images and FBCT images are compared using dose differences, distance to agreement (DTA), Gamma analyses and dose volume histogram (DVH) analyses. Results: The results show that IMRT plans optimized using CBCT scans and FBCT scans agree dosimetrically within 1% when the CBCT-SF is used for the CBCT-based plans, including thoracic IMRT plan. In contrast, up to 5% dose difference is observed between IMRT plans optimized on FBCT scans and CBCT scans for thoracic cases if conventional CT-to-density table is used on CBCT images. Conclusions: The simple stepwise mapping of the CBCT numbers to density using the CBCT-SF resolves the inaccuracies in dose calculations previously reported in CBCT-based RT plans. CBCT-SF can be used in Image-Guided adaptive radiotherapy planning.
Cite this paper: Liu, B. , Lerma, F. , Wu, J. , Yi, B. and Yu, C. (2015) Tissue Density Mapping of Cone Beam CT Images for Accurate Dose Calculations. International Journal of Medical Physics, Clinical Engineering and Radiation Oncology, 4, 162-171. doi: 10.4236/ijmpcero.2015.42020.

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