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Evaluation of a New MV X-Ray Detector Designed for the TomoTherapy® System

E Chao

E Chao*, R Schmidt, D Strait, D Cody, C Ehle, D Eloranta, C Maly, J Muehlenkamp, T Peak, Accuray Incorporated, Madison, WI

TU-E-BRA-6 Tuesday 2:00:00 PM - 3:50:00 PM Room: Ballroom A

Purpose: To evaluate the performance of a new MV X-ray detector prototype specifically designed for use on the TomoTherapy® System.

Methods: A gas-filled detector array, similar in concept to existing TomoTherapy detector arrays, has been designed and fabricated for the TomoTherapy System. Unlike existing detector arrays, the prototype detector array has a radius of curvature that matches the source-to-detector distance. Also, the internal structure of the detector such as the septa material and geometry has been optimized for MV X-rays. The prototype detector performance was assessed by measuring the signal properties of each of the detector channel signals. Signal, noise, and signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) were measured. Finally, the resulting MVCT image quality was assessed.

Results: The signal profile across the prototype detector more closely matches the incident X-ray beam intensity and, in particular, is missing the characteristic trough in the center of signal profiles from existing TomoTherapy detector arrays. Compared to an existing detector, the mean signal is approximately equal outside the central region. Inside the 100 central channels (out of 576 total channels), the prototype detector signal is substantially larger than the existing detector. The variation in the pulse-to-pulse signal (noise), after accounting for output fluctuations, is substantially lower with the new detector. The resulting SNR is an average of 18% higher across all channels, with an improvement of up to 36% for the central channels. The prototype detector yielded MVCT images that, compared to one typical system with an existing detector array, had 7% lower image noise in the periphery and 36% lower noise at the center of the image.

Conclusions: This evaluation indicates that the performance of a new MV X-ray detector array prototype exceeds the performance of an existing detector array in terms of signal-to-noise ratio and resulting MVCT image quality.

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