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Improved Cine Four-Dimensional Computed Tomography (4D CT) Acquisition and Processing Method

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S Castillo

S Castillo*, R Castillo , E Castillo , T Pan , G Ibbott , P Balter , B Hobbs , J Dai , T Guerrero , UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


TH-E-17A-7 Thursday 1:00PM - 2:50PM Room: 17A

Purpose: Artifacts arising from the 4D CT acquisition and post-processing methods add systematic uncertainty to the treatment planning process. We propose an alternate cine 4D CT acquisition and post-processing method to consistently reduce artifacts, and explore patient parameters indicative of image quality.

Methods: In an IRB-approved protocol, 18 patients with primary thoracic malignancies received a standard cine 4D CT acquisition followed by an oversampling 4D CT that doubled the number of images acquired. A second cohort of 10 patients received the clinical 4D CT plus 3 oversampling scans for intra-fraction reproducibility. The clinical acquisitions were processed by the standard phase sorting method. The oversampling acquisitions were processed using Dijkstras algorithm to optimize an artifact metric over available image data. Image quality was evaluated with a one-way mixed ANOVA model using a correlation-based artifact metric calculated from the final 4D CT image sets. Spearman correlations and a linear mixed model tested the association between breathing parameters, patient characteristics, and image quality.

Results: The oversampling 4D CT scans reduced artifact presence significantly by 27% and 28%, for the first cohort and second cohort respectively. From cohort 2, the inter-replicate deviation for the oversampling method was within approximately 13% of the cross scan average at the 0.05 significance level. Artifact presence for both clinical and oversampling methods was significantly correlated with breathing period (ρ=0.407, p-value<0.032 clinical, ρ=0.296, p-value<0.041 oversampling). Artifact presence in the oversampling method was significantly correlated with amount of data acquired, (ρ=-0.335, p-value<0.02) indicating decreased artifact presence with increased breathing cycles per scan location.

Conclusion: The 4D CT oversampling acquisition with optimized sorting reduced artifact presence significantly and reproducibly compared to the phase-sorted clinical acquisition.

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