A megavoltage scatter correction technique for cone-beam CT images acquired during VMAT delivery
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Kilovoltage cone-beam CT (kV CBCT) can be acquired during the delivery of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), in order to obtain an image of the patient during treatment. However, the quality of such CBCTs is degraded by megavoltage (MV) scatter from the treatment beam onto the imaging panel. The objective of this paper is to introduce a novel MV scatter correction method for simultaneous CBCT during VMAT, and to investigate its effectiveness when compared to other techniques. The correction requires the acquisition of a separate set of images taken during VMAT delivery, while the kV beam is off. These images--which contain only the MV scatter contribution on the imaging panel--are then used to correct the corresponding kV/MV projections. To test this method, CBCTs were taken of an image quality phantom during VMAT delivery and measurements of contrast to noise ratio were made. Additionally, the correction was applied to the datasets of three VMAT prostate patients, who also received simultaneous CBCTs. The clinical image quality was assessed using a validated scoring system, comparing standard CBCTs to the uncorrected simultaneous CBCTs and a variety of correction methods. Results show that the correction is able to recover some of the low and high-contrast signal to noise ratio lost due to MV scatter. From the patient study, the corrected CBCT scored significantly higher than the uncorrected images in terms of the ability to identify the boundary between the prostate and surrounding soft tissue. In summary, a simple MV scatter correction method has been developed and, using both phantom and patient data, is shown to improve the image quality of simultaneous CBCTs taken during VMAT delivery.
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