SU-D-207-01: Markerless Respiratory Motion Tracking with Contrast Enhanced Thoracic Cone Beam CT Projections




To develop a novel technique to enhance the image contrast of clinical cone beam CT projections and extract respiratory signals based on anatomical motion using the modified Amsterdam Shroud (AS) method to benefit image guided radiation therapy.


Thoracic cone beam CT projections acquired prior to treatment were preprocessed to increase their contrast for better respiratory signal extraction. Air intensity on raw images was firstly estimated and then applied to correct the projections to generate new attenuation images that were subsequently improved with deeper anatomy feature enhancement through taking logarithm operation, derivative along superior-inferior direction, respectively. All pixels on individual post-processed two dimensional images were horizontally summed to one column and all projections were combined side by side to create an AS image from which patient's respiratory signal was extracted. The impact of gantry rotation on the breathing signal rendering was also investigated. Ten projection image sets from five lung cancer patients acquired with the Varian Onboard Imager on 21iX Clinac (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) were employed to assess the proposed technique.


Application of the air correction on raw projections showed that more than an order of magnitude of contrast enhancement was achievable. The typical contrast on the raw projections is around 0.02 while that on attenuation images could greater than 0.5. Clear and stable breathing signal can be reliably extracted from the new images while the uncorrected projection sets failed to yield clear signals most of the time.


Anatomy feature plays a key role in yielding breathing signal from the projection images using the AS technique. The air correction process facilitated the contrast enhancement significantly and attenuation images thus obtained provides a practical solution to obtaining markerless breathing motion tracking.