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Proton Beam X-Ray Fluorescence CT

M Bazalova

M Bazalova*, M Ahmad, R Fahrig , L Xing , Stanford University, Stanford, CA


TU-A-9A-9 Tuesday 7:30AM - 9:30AM Room: 9A

Purpose: To evaluate x-ray fluorescence computed tomography induced with proton beams (pXFCT) for imaging of gold contrast agent.

Methods: Proton-induced x-ray fluorescence was studied by means of Monte Carlo (MC) simulations using TOPAS, a MC code based on GEANT4. First, proton-induced K-shell and L-shell fluorescence was studied as a function of proton beam energy and 1) depth in water and 2) size of contrast object. Second, pXFCT images of a 2-cm diameter cylindrical phantom with four 5-mm diameter contrast vials and of a 20-cm diameter phantom with 1-cm diameter vials were simulated. Contrast vials were filled with water and water solutions with 1-5% gold per weight. Proton beam energies were varied from 70-250MeV. pXFCT sinograms were generated based on the net number of gold K-shell or L-shell x-rays determined by interpolations from the neighboring 0.5keV energy bins of spectra collected with an idealized 4π detector. pXFCT images were reconstructed with filtered-back projection, and no attenuation correction was applied.

Results: Proton induced x-ray fluorescence spectra showed very low background compared to x-ray induced fluorescence. Proton induced L-shell fluorescence had a higher cross-section compared to K-shell fluorescence. Excitation of L-shell fluorescence was most efficient for low-energy protons, i.e. at the Bragg peak. K-shell fluorescence increased with increasing proton beam energy and object size. The 2% and 5% gold contrast vials were accurately reconstructed in K-shell pXFCT images of both the 2-cm and 20-cm diameter phantoms. Small phantom L-shell pXFCT image required attenuation correction and had a higher sensitivity for 70MeV protons compared to 250MeV protons. With attenuation correction, L-shell pXFCT might be a feasible option for imaging of small size (~2cm) objects. Imaging doses for all simulations were 5-30cGy.

Conclusion: Proton induced x-ray fluorescence CT promises to be an alternative quantitative imaging technique to the commonly considered XFCT imaging with x-ray beams.

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