With the aim of maximally reducing imaging dose while meeting requirements for adaptive radiation therapy (ART), we propose in this paper a new cone beam CT (CBCT) acquisition and reconstruction method that delivers images with a low noise level inside a region of interest (ROI) and a relatively high noise level outside the ROI. The acquired projection images include two groups: densely sampled projections at a low exposure with a large field of view (FOV) and sparsely sampled projections at a high exposure with a small FOV corresponding to the ROI. A new algorithm combining the conventional filtered back-projection algorithm and the tight-frame iterative reconstruction algorithm is also designed to reconstruct the CBCT based on these projection data. We have validated our method on a simulated head-and-neck (HN) patient case, a semi-real experiment conducted on a HN cancer patient under a full-fan scan mode, as well as a Catphan phantom under a half-fan scan mode. Relative root-mean-square errors (RRMSEs) of less than 3% for the entire image and ∼1% within the ROI compared to the ground truth have been observed. These numbers demonstrate the ability of our proposed method to reconstruct high-quality images inside the ROI. As for the part outside ROI, although the images are relatively noisy, it can still provide sufficient information for radiation dose calculations in ART. Dose distributions calculated on our CBCT image and on a standard CBCT image are in agreement, with a mean relative difference of 0.082% inside the ROI and 0.038% outside the ROI. Compared with the standard clinical CBCT scheme, an imaging dose reduction of approximately 3-6 times inside the ROI was achieved, as well as an 8 times outside the ROI. Regarding computational efficiency, it takes 1-3 min to reconstruct a CBCT image depending on the number of projections used. These results indicate that the proposed method has the potential for application in ART.
- cone beam CT
- image guided radiation therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging