Objective: To evaluate the performance of low dose cone beam CT (CBCT) acquisition protocols for image-guided radiotherapy of prostate cancer.
Methods: CBCT images of patients undergoing prostate cancer radiotherapy were acquired with the settings currently used in our department and two low dose settings at 50% and 63% lower exposure. Four experienced radiation oncologists and two radiation therapy technologists graded the images on five image quality characteristics. The scores were analysed through Visual Grading Regression, using the acquisition settings and the patient size as covariates.
Results: The low dose acquisition settings have no impact on the image quality for patients with body profile length at hip level below 100 cm.
Conclusions: A reduction of about 60% of the dose is feasible for patients with size below 100 cm. The visibility of low contrast features can be compromised if using the low dose acquisition settings for patients with hip size above 100 cm.
Advances in knowledge: Low dose CBCT acquisition protocols for the pelvis, based on subjective evaluation of patient images.