Image registration of a moving target phantom with helical tomotherapy: effect of the CT acquisition technique and action level proposal.
Physics in Medicine and Biology
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This study aims to quantify the effects of target motion and resultant motion artifacts in planning and megavoltage CT (MVCT) studies on the automatic registration processes of helical tomotherapy. Clinical and experimental data were used to derive an action level for patient repositioning on helical tomotherapy. Planning CT studies of a respiratory motion phantom were acquired using conventional and four-dimensional CT (4D CT) techniques. MVCT studies were acquired on helical tomotherapy in the presence and absence of target motion and were registered with different planning CT studies. The residual errors of the registration process were calculated from the registration values to quantify the ability of the process to detect 5 or 10 mm translations of the phantom in two directions. Twenty-seven registration combinations of MVCT inter-slice spacing, technique and resolution were investigated. The residual errors were used as an estimate of the localization error of the registration process, and the accuracy of couch repositioning was determined from couch position measurements during 866 treatment fractions. These two parameters were used to calculate the action level for patient repositioning on helical tomotherapy. Automatic registration of an MVCT study with 0% breathing phase, average intensity and maximum intensity 4D CT projections did not differ from that of an MVCT study with a conventional planning CT. Motion artifacts in the MVCT or planning CT studies changed the accuracy of the automatic registration process by less than 2.0%. The action level for patient repositioning using MVCT studies of 6 mm inter-slice spacing was determined to be 0.7, 1.1 and 0.6 mm in the x-, y- and z-directions, respectively. These action levels have the greatest effect on treatments for disease sites in the brain.