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DeTECT, a Method to Enhance Soft Tissue Contrast From Mega Voltage CT

K Sheng

K Sheng*, S Gou , S Qi, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA


SU-D-12A-2 Sunday 2:05PM - 3:00PM Room: 12A

MVCT images have been used on TomoTherapy system to align patients based on bony anatomies but its usefulness for soft tissue registration, delineation and adaptive radiation therapy is severely limited due to minimal photoelectric interaction and prominent presence of noise resulting from low detector quantum efficiency of megavoltage x-rays. We aim to utilize a non-local means denoising method and texture analysis to recover the soft tissue information for MVCT.

A block matching 3D (BM3D) algorithm was adapted to reduce the noise while keeping the texture information of the MVCT images. BM3D is an imaging denoising algorithm developed from non-local means methods. BM3D additionally creates 3D groups by stacking 2D patches by the order of similarity. 3D denoising operation is then performed. The resultant 3D group is inversely transformed back to 2D images. In this study, BM3D was applied to MVCT images of a CT quality phantom, a head and neck and a prostate patient. Following denoising, imaging texture was enhanced to create the denoised and texture enhanced CT (DeTECT).

The original MVCT images show prevalent noise and poor soft tissue contrast. By applying BM3D denoising and texture enhancement, all MVCT images show remarkable improvements. For the phantom, the contrast to noise ratio for the low contrast plug was improved from 2.2 to 13.1 without compromising line pair conspicuity. For the head and neck patient, the lymph nodes and vein in the carotid space inconspicuous in the original MVCT image becomes highly visible in DeTECT. For the prostate patient, the boundary between the bladder and the prostate in the original MVCT is successfully recovered. Both results are visually validated by kVCT images of the corresponding patients.

DeTECT showed the promise to drastically improve the soft tissue contrast of MVCT for image guided radiotherapy and adaptive radiotherapy.

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