3 years ago

A prospective gating method to acquire a diverse set of free-breathing CT images for model-based 4DCT.

Dan Ruan, David H Thomas, Tai H Dou, Daniel A Low, John H Lewis, Anand P Santhanam, Percy P Lee, Dylan O'Connell
Breathing motion modeling requires observation of tissues at sufficiently distinct respiratory states for proper 4D characterization. This work proposes a method to improve sampling of the breathing cycle with limited imaging dose. We designed and tested a prospective free-breathing acquisition protocol with a simulation using datasets from 5 patients imaged with a model-based 4DCT technique. Each dataset contained 25 free-breathing fast helical CT scans with simultaneous breathing surrogate measurements. Tissue displacements were measured using deformable image registration. A correspondence model related tissue displacement to the surrogate. Model residual was computed by comparing predicted displacements to image registration results. To determine a stopping criteria for the prospective protocol, i.e. when the breathing cycle had been sufficiently sampled, subsets of N scans where 5<=N<=9 were used to fit reduced models for each patient. A previously published metric was employed to describe the phase coverage, or 'spread,' of the respiratory trajectories of each subset. Minimum phase coverage necessary to achieve mean model residual within 0.5 mm of the full 25-scan model was determined and used as the stopping criteria. Using the patient breathing traces, a prospective acquisition protocol was simulated. In all patients, phase coverage greater than the threshold necessary for model accuracy within 0.5mm of the 25 scan model was achieved in 6 or fewer scans. The prospectively selected respiratory trajectories ranked in the (97.5 +/- 4.2)th percentile among subsets of the originally sampled scans on average. Simulation results suggest that the proposed prospective method provides an effective means to sample the breathing cycle with limited free-breathing scans. One application of the method is to reduce the imaging dose of a previously published model-based 4DCT protocol to 25% of its original value while achieving mean model residual within 0.5 mm.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6560/aaa90f

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6560/aaa90f

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