TU-AB-BRC-03: Accurate Tissue Characterization for Monte Carlo Dose Calculation Using Dual-and Multi-Energy CT Data




To develop a general method for human tissue characterization with dual-and multi-energy CT and evaluate its performance in determining elemental compositions and the associated proton stopping power relative to water (SPR) and photon mass absorption coefficients (EAC).


Principal component analysis is used to extract an optimal basis of virtual materials from a reference dataset of tissues. These principal components (PC) are used to perform two-material decomposition using simulated DECT data. The elemental mass fraction and the electron density in each tissue is retrieved by measuring the fraction of each PC. A stoichiometric calibration method is adapted to the technique to make it suitable for clinical use. The present approach is compared with two others: parametrization and three-material decomposition using the water-lipid-protein (WLP) triplet.


Monte Carlo simulations using TOPAS for four reference tissues shows that characterizing them with only two PC is enough to get a submillimetric precision on proton range prediction. Based on the simulated DECT data of 43 references tissues, the proposed method is in agreement with theoretical values of protons SPR and low-kV EAC with a RMS error of 0.11% and 0.35%, respectively. In comparison, parametrization and WLP respectively yield RMS errors of 0.13% and 0.29% on SPR, and 2.72% and 2.19% on EAC. Furthermore, the proposed approach shows potential applications for spectral CT. Using five PC and five energy bins reduces the SPR RMS error to 0.03%.


The proposed method shows good performance in determining elemental compositions from DECT data and physical quantities relevant to radiotherapy dose calculation and generally shows better accuracy and unbiased results compared to reference methods. The proposed method is particularly suitable for Monte Carlo calculations and shows promise in using more than two energies to characterize human tissue with CT.