WE-AB-BRA-11: Improved Imaging of Permanent Prostate Brachytherapy Seed Implants by Combining an Endorectal X-Ray Sensor with a CT Scanner




To test feasibility of the use of a digital endorectal x-ray sensor for improved image resolution of permanent brachytherapy seed implants compared to conventional CT.


Two phantoms simulating the male pelvic region were used to test the capabilities of a digital endorectal x-ray sensor for imaging permanent brachytherapy seed implants. Phantom 1 was constructed from acrylic plastic with cavities milled in the locations of the prostate and the rectum. The prostate cavity was filled a Styrofoam plug implanted with 10 training seeds. Phantom 2 was constructed from tissue-equivalent gelatins and contained a prostate phantom implanted with 18 strands of training seeds. For both phantoms, an intraoral digital dental x-ray sensor was placed in the rectum within 2 cm of the seed implants. Scout scans were taken of the phantoms over a limited arc angle using a CT scanner (80 kV, 120–200 mA). The dental sensor was removed from the phantoms and normal helical CT and scout (0 degree) scans using typical parameters for pelvic CT (120 kV, auto-mA) were collected. A shift-and add tomosynthesis algorithm was developed to localize seed plane location normal to detector face.


The endorectal sensor produced images with improved resolution compared to CT scans. Seed clusters and individual seed geometry were more discernable using the endorectal sensor. Seed 3D locations, including seeds that were not located in every projection image, were discernable using the shift and add algorithm.


This work shows that digital endorectal x-ray sensors are a feasible method for improving imaging of permanent brachytherapy seed implants. Future work will consist of optimizing the tomosynthesis technique to produce higher resolution, lower dose images of 1) permanent brachytherapy seed implants for post-implant dosimetry and 2) fine anatomic details for imaging and managing prostatic disease compared to CT images.

Funding: LSU Faculty Start-up Funding. Disclosure: XDR Radiography has loaned our research group the digital x-ray detector used in this work. CoI: None.