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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL PHYSICS   WINTER 2007 , Volume 3 , Number 13; Page(s) 59 To 66.
 
Paper: 

CT-NUMBER TO ELECTRON DENSITY CALIBRATION USING STOICHIOMETRY FOR USE IN RADIOTHERAPY

 
 
Author(s):  MOSLEMI V., FAGHIHI R., MOSLEH SHIRAZI M.A.*, MOSALAEI A., MAHDIZADEH SIMIN
 
* RADIOTHERAPY DEPT., SHIRAZ UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES, SHIRAZ, IRAN
 
Abstract: 
Introduction: One of the causes of error and perturbation in isodose curves in conventional radiotherapy treatment planning is the existence of tissues having either very high density (bone, prosthesis) or very low density (lung, air cavities). Nowadays, the use of CT images to solve this problem is growing, and so is the need for calibration curves that convert the CT-number of the tissue to electron density for dose calculation. The conventional method to obtain this curve is purely measurement-based, in which a phantom containing various materials of known electron densities is imaged. Alternatively, a more fundamental method of stoichiometry has been used in this work.
Material and Methods: For the stoichiometric method, initially a cylindrical polyethylene phantom was built. The phantom consists of inserts of high-purity aluminum, PVC, polyethylene, water and cork to model hard bone, skeleton, fat, muscle and lung tissues, respectively. CT imaging was then performed at 120 kVp using a spiral CT scanner (GE model NXI). A system of simultaneous equations was solved to get the appropriate CT-number to electron-density conversion for each tissue type using the CT-numbers from the phantom images, the physical and radiological data of the materials. A conversion curve showing the variation of CT-number with relative electron density was also plotted. The result of the stoichiometric conversion was then compared to that from other methods.
Results: The system of simultaneous equations yielded the factors, the experimental and the computed CT-numbers were compared. The highest uncertainty was estimated to be approximately 5.6% for a relatively high-density material such as aluminum and 4% for polyethylene. The curves representing the electron density based on CT-number start diverging at CT-number equal to zero and above.
Discussion and Conclusion: Comparing the results obtained from the experimental and computational methods suggest an acceptable level of accuracy for the computational (stoichiometric) conversion. The uncertainty in the electron density obtained is greater for materials of higher electron density.
 
Keyword(s): STOICHIOMETRIC CT CONVERSION, CT-NUMBER, ELECTRON DENSITY, RADIOTHERAPY TREATMENT PLANNING
 
References: 
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