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Improving Radiotherapy Treatment Planning Using Dual Energy Computed Tomography Based Tissue Characterization

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N Tomic

N Tomic*, H Bekerat , J Seuntjens , R Forghani , F DeBlois , S Devic , McGill University, Montreal, QC


SU-F-T-398 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose:Both kVp settings and geometric distribution of various materials lead to significant change of the HU values, showing the largest discrepancy for high-Z materials and for the lowest CT scanning kVp setting. On the other hand, the dose distributions around low-energy brachytherapy sources are highly dependent on the architecture and composition of tissue heterogeneities in and around the implant. Both measurements and Monte Carlo calculations show that improper tissue characterization may lead to calculated dose errors of 90% for low energy and around 10% for higher energy photons. We investigated the ability of dual-energy CT (DECT) to characterize more accurately tissue equivalent materials.

Methods:We used the RMI-467 heterogeneity phantom scanned in DECT mode with 3 different set-ups: first, we placed high electron density (ED) plugs within the outer ring of the phantom; then we arranged high ED plugs within the inner ring; and finally ED plugs were randomly distributed. All three setups were scanned with the same DECT technique using a single-source DECT scanner with fast kVp switching (Discovery CT750HD; GE Healthcare). Images were transferred to a GE Advantage workstation for DECT analysis. Spectral Hounsfield unit curves (SHUACs) were then generated from 50 to 140-keV, in 10-keV increments, for each plug.

Results:The dynamic range of Hounsfield units shrinks with increased photon energy as the attenuation coefficients decrease. Our results show that the spread of HUs for the three different geometrical setups is the smallest at 80 keV. Furthermore, among all the energies and all materials presented, the largest difference appears at high Z tissue equivalent plugs.

Conclusion:Our results suggest that dose calculations at both megavoltage and low photon energies could benefit in the vicinity of bony structures if the 80 keV reconstructed monochromatic CT image is used with the DECT protocol utilized in this work.

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