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J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2012 Sep 6;13(6):3986. doi: 10.1120/jacmp.v13i6.3986.

Improving dose calculations on tomotherapy MVCT images.

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Department of Medical Physics, Centre Oscar Lambret, 3, Rue Frédéric Combémale, 59020 Lille, France.


The purpose of this investigation was the creation of a new protocol allowing more precise dose calculations on megavoltage CT (MVCT) images for tomotherapy, both for adaptive and StatRT planning. Daily MVCT images offer, next to positioning purposes, the possibility for daily dose check and adaptive planning. Dose calculations use the image value to density table (IVDT) to calculate physical densities from Hounsfield Units (HUs). These measured HUs change over time, leading to a dose calculation error. We noticed dose calculation variations due to IVDT changes of: 0.2% dose during a day, up to 1.6% dose from long-term variations, and up to 1.5% dose due to technical interventions. An analysis was performed applying the general methodology of a calibration problem. A model HU = bρc - 1020 was obtained using a weighted least squares inverse prediction method (HU as function of density) taking into account the heteroscedasticity. The b parameter is the major variable and depends also on the dose rate (DR). We demonstrate the correction for DR variations and the constance of the c parameter. Instead of scanning the whole tissue characterization phantom daily, we propose a simplified daily protocol: (a) morning airscan-like procedure with only two inserts on the table (defining b and thus the IVDT curve), (b) DR variations throughout the day can be corrected for using the DR model. A patient-specific protocol for which two inserts next to the patient are scanned could also be used, but results in equal uncertainties and is less practical. Therefore we recommend the morning procedure with dose rate variation correction. Applying the proposed transformations and the model, the correct IVDT of the moment can be reconstructed, with a simple measurement in the morning, and corrected with DR changes during the day. This corresponds with a linear mapping in time of the proposed IVDT function. The dosimetric variation is hereby reduced from up to 3% to 0.4 % for the tested pelvic and head-and-neck cases. In practice, several IVDT curves corresponding to "b" values can be entered. The correct IVDT curve of that moment can then be chosen from the list. Instead of the two high-density inserts on table, any calibrated single density phantom could be used in order to create the IVDT curve of the day, but it should have a larger size than the current inserts.

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