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BEST IN PHYSICS (IMAGING): Advanced Scatter Correction and Iterative Reconstruction for Improved Cone-Beam CT Imaging On the TrueBeam Radiotherapy Machine

A Wang

A Wang*, P Paysan, M Brehm, A Maslowski, M Lehmann, P Messmer, P Munro, S Yoon, J Star-Lack, D Seghers, Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA


WE-AB-207A-8 (Wednesday, August 3, 2016) 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM Room: 207A

Purpose: To improve CBCT image quality for image-guided radiotherapy by applying advanced reconstruction algorithms to overcome scatter, noise, and artifact limitations

Methods: CBCT is used extensively for patient setup in radiotherapy. However, image quality generally falls short of diagnostic CT, limiting soft-tissue based positioning and potential applications such as adaptive radiotherapy. The conventional TrueBeam CBCT reconstructor uses a basic scatter correction and FDK reconstruction, resulting in residual scatter artifacts, suboptimal image noise characteristics, and other artifacts like cone-beam artifacts. We have developed an advanced scatter correction that uses a finite-element solver (AcurosCTS) to model the behavior of photons as they pass (and scatter) through the object. Furthermore, iterative reconstruction is applied to the scatter-corrected projections, enforcing data consistency with statistical weighting and applying an edge-preserving image regularizer to reduce image noise. The combined algorithms have been implemented on a GPU. CBCT projections from clinically operating TrueBeam systems have been used to compare image quality between the conventional and improved reconstruction methods. Planning CT images of the same patients have also been compared.

Results: The advanced scatter correction removes shading and inhomogeneity artifacts, reducing the scatter artifact from 99.5 HU to 13.7 HU in a typical pelvis case. Iterative reconstruction provides further benefit by reducing image noise and eliminating streak artifacts, thereby improving soft-tissue visualization. In a clinical head and pelvis CBCT, the noise was reduced by 43% and 48%, respectively, with no change in spatial resolution (assessed visually). Additional benefits include reduction of cone-beam artifacts and reduction of metal artifacts due to intrinsic downweighting of corrupted rays.

Conclusion: The combination of an advanced scatter correction with iterative reconstruction substantially improves CBCT image quality. It is anticipated that clinically acceptable reconstruction times will result from a multi-GPU implementation (the algorithms are under active development and not yet commercially available).

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: All authors are employees of and (may) own stock of Varian Medical Systems.

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