Impact of a novel multilayer imager on metal artifacts in MV-CBCT

Phys Med Biol. 2023 Jul 10;68(14):10.1088/1361-6560/ace09a. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ace09a.

Abstract

Objective. Megavoltage cone-beam computed tomography (MV-CBCT) imaging offers several advantages including reduced metal artifacts and accurate electron density mapping for adaptive or emergent situations. However, MV-CBCT imaging is limited by the poor efficiency of current detectors. Here we examine a new MV imager and compare CBCT reconstructions under clinically relevant scenarios.Approach. A multilayer imager (MLI), consisting of four vertically stacked standard flat-panel imagers, was mounted to a clinical linear accelerator. A custom anthropomorphic pelvis phantom with replaceable femoral heads was imaged using MV-CBCT and kilovoltage CBCT (kV-CBCT). Bone, aluminum, and titanium were used as femoral head inserts. 8 MU 2.5 MV scans were acquired for all four layers and (as reference) the top layer. Prostate and bladder were contoured on a reference CT and transferred to the other scans after rigid registration, from which the structural similarity index measure (SSIM) was calculated. Prostate and bladder were also contoured on CBCT scans without guidance, and Dice coefficients were compared to CT contours.Main results. kV-CBCT demonstrated the highest SSIMs with bone inserts (prostate: 0.86, bladder: 0.94) and lowest with titanium inserts (0.32, 0.37). Four-layer MV-CBCT SSIMs were preserved with bone (0.75, 0.80) as compared to titanium (0.67, 0.74), outperforming kV-CBCT when metal is present. One-layer MV-CBCT consistently underperformed four-layer results across all phantom configurations. Unilateral titanium inserts and bilateral aluminum insert results fell between the bone and bilateral titanium results. Dice coefficients trended similarly, with four-layer MV-CBCT reducing metal artifact impact relative to KV-CBCT to provide better soft-tissue identification.Significance. MV-CBCT with a four-layer MLI showed improvement over single-layer MV scans, approaching kV-CBCT quality for soft-tissue contrast. In the presence of artifact-producing metal implants, four-layer MV-CBCT scans outperformed kV-CBCT by eliminating artifacts and single-layer MV-CBCT by reducing noise. MV-CBCT with a novel multi-layer imager may be a valuable alternative to kV-CBCT, particularly in the presence of metal.

Keywords: MV-CBCT; electronic portal imaging device; megavoltage imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum
  • Artifacts*
  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography / methods
  • Metals
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Spiral Cone-Beam Computed Tomography*
  • Titanium

Substances

  • Titanium
  • Aluminum
  • Metals