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J Med Phys. 2010 Apr;35(2):123-7. doi: 10.4103/0971-6203.62196.

Measurement of time delay for a prospectively gated CT simulator.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physics, Tom Baker Cancer Center, 1331 29 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N4N2.


For the management of mobile tumors, respiratory gating is the ideal option, both during imaging and during therapy. The major advantage of respiratory gating during imaging is that it is possible to create a single artifact-free CT data-set during a selected phase of the patient's breathing cycle. The purpose of the present work is to present a simple technique to measure the time delay during acquisition of a prospectively gated CT. The time delay of a Philips Brilliance BigBore (Philips Medical Systems, Madison, WI) scanner attached to a Varian Real-Time Position Management (RPM) system (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) was measured. Two methods were used to measure the CT time delay: using a motion phantom and using a recorded data file from the RPM system. In the first technique, a rotating wheel phantom was altered by placing two plastic balls on its axis and rim, respectively. For a desired gate, the relative positions of the balls were measured from the acquired CT data and converted into corresponding phases. Phase difference was calculated between the measured phases and the desired phases. Using period of motion, the phase difference was converted into time delay. The Varian RPM system provides an external breathing signal; it also records transistor-transistor logic (TTL) 'X-Ray ON' status signal from the CT scanner in a text file. The TTL 'X-Ray ON' indicates the start of CT image acquisition. Thus, knowledge of the start time of CT acquisition, combined with the real-time phase and amplitude data from the external respiratory signal, provides time-stamping of all images in an axial CT scan. The TTL signal with time-stamp was used to calculate when (during the breathing cycle) a slice was recorded. Using the two approaches, the time delay between the prospective gating signal and CT simulator has been determined to be 367 +/- 40 ms. The delay requires corrections both at image acquisition and while setting gates for the treatment delivery; otherwise the simulation and treatment may not be correlated with the patient's breathing.


CT simulator; prospective gating; time delay

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