Background: In modern radiotherapy accelerators are equipped with 3D cone-beam CT (CBCT) which is used to verify patient position before treatment. The verification is based on an image registration between the CBCT acquired just before treatment and the CT scan made for the treatment planning. The purpose of this study is to minimise the scan time of the CBCT without compromising the accuracy of the image registration in IGRT.
Material and methods: Fast scans were simulated by reducing the number of acquired projection images, i.e. new reconstructions based on a subset of the original projections were made. The deviation between the registrations of these new reconstructions and the original registration was measured as function of the amount of reduction.
Results and discussion: Twenty nine head and neck (H&N) and 11 stereotactic lung patients were included in the study. The mean of the registration deviation did not differ significantly from zero independently of the number of projections included in the reconstruction. Except for the smallest subset of reconstructions (10% and 25% of the original projection for the lung and H&N patients, respectively) the standard deviation of the registration differences was constant. The standard deviations were approximately 0.1 mm and 0.2 mm for the H&N and lung group, respectively. Based on these results an in-house developed solution, able to reduce the Cone-Beam CT scan time, has been implemented clinically.