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Phys Med Biol. 2004 Dec 7;49(23):5357-72.

A finite state model for respiratory motion analysis in image guided radiation therapy.

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  • 1College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Effective image guided radiation treatment of a moving tumour requires adequate information on respiratory motion characteristics. For margin expansion, beam tracking and respiratory gating, the tumour motion must be quantified for pretreatment planning and monitored on-line. We propose a finite state model for respiratory motion analysis that captures our natural understanding of breathing stages. In this model, a regular breathing cycle is represented by three line segments, exhale, end-of-exhale and inhale, while abnormal breathing is represented by an irregular breathing state. In addition, we describe an on-line implementation of this model in one dimension. We found this model can accurately characterize a wide variety of patient breathing patterns. This model was used to describe the respiratory motion for 23 patients with peak-to-peak motion greater than 7 mm. The average root mean square error over all patients was less than 1 mm and no patient has an error worse than 1.5 mm. Our model provides a convenient tool to quantify respiratory motion characteristics, such as patterns of frequency changes and amplitude changes, and can be applied to internal or external motion, including internal tumour position, abdominal surface, diaphragm, spirometry and other surrogates.

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