Acquiring CBCTs from a limited scan angle can help to reduce the imaging time, save the imaging dose, and allow continuous target localizations through arc-based treatments with high temporal resolution. However, insufficient scan angle sampling leads to severe distortions and artifacts in the reconstructed CBCT images, limiting their clinical applicability. 2D-3D deformable registration can map a prior fully-sampled CT/CBCT volume to estimate a new CBCT, based on limited-angle on-board cone-beam projections. The resulting CBCT images estimated by 2D-3D deformable registration can successfully suppress the distortions and artifacts, and reflect up-to-date patient anatomy. However, traditional iterative 2D-3D deformable registration algorithm is very computationally expensive and time-consuming, which takes hours to generate a high quality deformation vector field (DVF) and the CBCT. In this work, we developed an unsupervised, end-to-end, 2D-3D deformable registration framework using convolutional neural networks (2D3D-RegNet) to address the speed bottleneck of the conventional iterative 2D-3D deformable registration algorithm. The 2D3D-RegNet was able to solve the DVFs within 5 seconds for 90 orthogonally-arranged projections covering a combined 90 scan angle, with DVF accuracy superior to 3D-3D deformable registration, and on par with the conventional 2D-3D deformable registration algorithm. We also performed a preliminary robustness analysis of 2D3D-RegNet towards projection angular sampling frequency variations, as well as scan angle offsets. The synergy of 2D3D-RegNet with biomechanical modeling was also evaluated, and demonstrated that 2D3D-RegNet can function as a fast DVF solution core for further DVF refinement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging