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J Radiat Res. 2012 Nov 1;53(6):945-53. doi: 10.1093/jrr/rrs039. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Reproducibility of image quality for moving objects using respiratory-gated computed tomography: a study using a phantom model.

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Proton Medical Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.


To investigate the reproducibility of computed tomography (CT) imaging quality in respiratory-gated radiation treatment planning is essential in radiotherapy of movable tumors. Seven series of regular and six series of irregular respiratory motions were performed using a thorax dynamic phantom. For the regular respiratory motions, the respiratory cycle was changed from 2.5 to 4 s and the amplitude was changed from 4 to 10 mm. For the irregular respiratory motions, a cycle of 2.5 to 4 or an amplitude of 4 to 10 mm was added to the base data (i.e. 3.5-s cycle, 6-mm amplitude) every three cycles. Images of the object were acquired six times using respiratory-gated data acquisition. The volume of the object was calculated and the reproducibility of the volume was decided based on the variety. The registered image of the object was added and the reproducibility of the shape was decided based on the degree of overlap of objects. The variety in the volumes and shapes differed significantly as the respiratory cycle changed according to regular respiratory motions. In irregular respiratory motion, shape reproducibility was further inferior, and the percentage of overlap among the six images was 35.26% in the 2.5- and 3.5-s cycle mixed group. Amplitude changes did not produce significant differences in the variety of the volumes and shapes. Respiratory cycle changes reduced the reproducibility of the image quality in respiratory-gated CT.

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