Date of Graduation

12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Tinsu Pan

Committee Member

George Starkschall

Committee Member

Peter Balter

Committee Member

Valen E. Johnson

Committee Member

Lei Dong

Abstract

The influence of respiratory motion on patient anatomy poses a challenge to accurate radiation therapy, especially in lung cancer treatment. Modern radiation therapy planning uses models of tumor respiratory motion to account for target motion in targeting. The tumor motion model can be verified on a per-treatment session basis with four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (4D-CBCT), which acquires an image set of the dynamic target throughout the respiratory cycle during the therapy session. 4D-CBCT is undersampled if the scan time is too short. However, short scan time is desirable in clinical practice to reduce patient setup time. This dissertation presents the design and optimization of 4D-CBCT to reduce the impact of undersampling artifacts with short scan times. This work measures the impact of undersampling artifacts on the accuracy of target motion measurement under different sampling conditions and for various object sizes and motions. The results provide a minimum scan time such that the target tracking error is less than a specified tolerance. This work also presents new image reconstruction algorithms for reducing undersampling artifacts in undersampled datasets by taking advantage of the assumption that the relevant motion of interest is contained within a volume-of-interest (VOI). It is shown that the VOI-based reconstruction provides more accurate image intensity than standard reconstruction. The VOI-based reconstruction produced 43% fewer least-squares error inside the VOI and 84% fewer error throughout the image in a study designed to simulate target motion. The VOI-based reconstruction approach can reduce acquisition time and improve image quality in 4D-CBCT.

Keywords

Medical imaging, lung imaging, radiation therapy, IGRT, image reconstruction, cone-beam CT, 4D imaging, 4D-CBCT, VOI, GSBS