Coupling surface cameras with on-board fluoroscopy: A feasibility study




To investigate the feasibility of using three-dimensional surface imaging cameras as an external surrogate of tumor motion through a temporal synchronization with kV imaging.


To obtain an “x-ray on” signal from the on-board kV fluoroscopy system (xvi, Elekta), a hardware controller (Gate Controller) was interfaced between the kV fluoroscopy and Gate CT (VisionRT Ltd., London) computers. First, phantom experiments were performed using a programmable respiratory motion platform (sinusoidal motion, period = 3–5 s). The platform included a chest-wall component (A-P amplitude = 1 cm) tracked with the surface camera, while tumorlike objects translated in the superior–inferior direction were tracked using kV fluoroscopy (300 frames, frequency ∼5.5 fps). Accuracy of tracking the chest-wall platform was assessed, and the latency of the system was characterized by performing linear regression between the peak times obtained from Gate CT and fluoroscopy. Increasing the complexity of experiments, tumor displacement curves from three patients were simulated using synchronous tumor–abdomen data (RTRT). Our approach was further validated by imaging four free-breathing lung cancer patients with simultaneous Gate CT and kV fluoroscopy for approximately 55 s. Consideration was also given to varied sizes and locations of the tracked region of interest on the patient surface.


For simple sinusoidal curves, measured amplitude (peak-to-peak) was 1.005 ± 0.003 cm, 1.013 ± 0.003 cm, and 1.003 ± 0.005 cm for periods of 5, 4, and 3.3 s, respectively, demonstrating an excellent agreement with the actual chest platform amplitude of 1.0 cm. Period measurements were within 0.2% of actual using the surface cameras and within 0.9% of actual value using fluoroscopy. For the sinusoidal motion, the system latency was 0.64 ± 0.02 s. This was further validated for the simulated tumor motion from three patients (latency = 0.65 ± 0.03 s). Five of the nine patient fractions studied showed the associations between the abdomen and tumor were equivalent or better (Pearsonr = 0.93–0.98) than those observed between the diaphragm and tumor (Pearson r = 0.89–0.95). A repeat analysis of five different tracked surfaces on the same patient further demonstrated strong agreement with the diaphragm and tumor, although no improvement in association strength was observed with increased size of region of interest.


The feasibility of using surface imaging cameras to track the patient's abdomen as an external surrogate, while using kV imaging to track internal anatomy in synchrony, has been demonstrated. With further validation through additional patient studies to confirm these findings, gated radiation therapy treatments using surface imaging cameras as the external surrogate can be facilitated.