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Enhancing Soft-Tissue CT Contrast for Radiation Therapy Using Mono-Energetic Decompositions of Dual Energy CT

G Noid

G Noid1*, A Tai1 , Y Liu1 , X Li1 , (1) Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI,


TH-CD-202-3 (Thursday, August 4, 2016) 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Room: 202

Purpose: It is desirable to increase CT soft-tissue contrast to improve delineation of tumor target and/or surrounding organs at risk (OAR) in RT planning and delivery guidance. The purpose of this work is to investigate the use of mono-energetic decompositions obtained from dual energy (DE) CT to improve soft-tissue contrast.

Methods: CT data were acquired for 5 prostate and 5 pancreas patients and a phantom with a CT Scanner (Definition AS Open, Siemens) using both sequential DE protocols and standard protocols. For the DE protocols, the scanner rapidly performs two acquisitions at 80 kVp and 140 kVp. The CT numbers of soft tissue inserts in the phantom (CTED/Gammex) were measured across the spectrum of available mono-energetic decompositions (40 to 140 keV) and compared to the standard protocol (120 kVp, 0.6 pitch, 18 mGy CTDIvol). Contrast, defined as the difference in the average CT number between target and OAR, was measured for all subjects and compared between the DE and standard protocols.

Results: Mono-energetic decompositions of the phantom demonstrate an enhancement of soft-tissue contrast as the energy is decreased. For instance, relative to the 120 kVp scans the Liver ED insert increased in CT number by 25 HU while the adipose ED insert decreased by 50 HU. The lowest energy decompositions featured the highest contrast between target and OAR. For every patient, the contrast increased by decomposing at 40 keV. The average increase in contrast relative to a 120 kVp scan for prostate patients at 40 keV was 25.05±17.28 HU while for pancreas patients it was 19.21±17.39 HU.

Conclusion: Low energy mono-energetic decompositions from dual-energy CT substantially increase soft-tissue contrast. At the lowest achievable mono-energetic decompositions the maximum soft-tissue contrast is achieved and the delineation of target and OAR is improved. Thus it is beneficial to use DECT in radiation oncology.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Supported by Siemens

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