TH-A-18C-01: Design Optimization of Segmented Scintillators for Megavoltage Cone- Beam CT




Active matrix flat-panel imagers incorporating thick, segmented scintillators for megavoltage cone-beam CT (MV CBCT) imaging have demonstrated strong potential for facilitating soft-tissue visualization at low, clinically practical doses. In order to identify scintillator design parameters that optimize performance for this purpose, a modeling technique which includes both radiation and optical effects and which lends itself to computationally practical implementation has been developed and explored.


A hybrid modeling technique, based on Monte Carlo event-by-event simulation of radiation transport and separate determination of optical effects, was devised as an alternative to computationally prohibitive event-by- event simulations of both radiation and optical transport. The technique was validated against empirical results from a previously reported 1.13 cm thick, 1.016 mm element-to-element pitch BGO scintillator prototype. Using this technique, the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and spatial resolution performance of numerous scintillator designs, with thicknesses ranging from 0.5 to 6 cm and pitches ranging from 0.508 to 1.524 mm, were examined.


CNR and spatial resolution performance for the various scintillator designs demonstrate complex behavior as scintillator thickness and pitch are varied – exhibiting a clear trade-off between these two imaging metrics up to a thickness of ˜3 cm. Based on these results, an optimization map highlighting those regions of design that provide a balance between these metrics was created. The map indicates that, for a given set of optical parameters, scintillator thickness and pitch can be judiciously chosen to maximize performance without resorting to thicker, more costly scintillators.


Modeling radiation and optical effects in thick, segmented scintillators through use of a hybrid modeling technique provides a practical way to gain insight as to how to optimize the performance of such devices for radiotherapy imaging. Assisted by such modeling, the development of practical designs should greatly facilitate low-dose, soft tissue visualization through MV CBCT imaging.

This project was supported in part by NIH grant R01 CA051397.