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Phys Med Biol. 2018 Feb 8;63(4):045002. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aaa730.

A biomechanical modeling-guided simultaneous motion estimation and image reconstruction technique (SMEIR-Bio) for 4D-CBCT reconstruction.

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Xiaokun Huang and You Zhang contributed equally to the work.


Reconstructing four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (4D-CBCT) images directly from respiratory phase-sorted traditional 3D-CBCT projections can capture target motion trajectory, reduce motion artifacts, and reduce imaging dose and time. However, the limited numbers of projections in each phase after phase-sorting decreases CBCT image quality under traditional reconstruction techniques. To address this problem, we developed a simultaneous motion estimation and image reconstruction (SMEIR) algorithm, an iterative method that can reconstruct higher quality 4D-CBCT images from limited projections using an inter-phase intensity-driven motion model. However, the accuracy of the intensity-driven motion model is limited in regions with fine details whose quality is degraded due to insufficient projection number, which consequently degrades the reconstructed image quality in corresponding regions. In this study, we developed a new 4D-CBCT reconstruction algorithm by introducing biomechanical modeling into SMEIR (SMEIR-Bio) to boost the accuracy of the motion model in regions with small fine structures. The biomechanical modeling uses tetrahedral meshes to model organs of interest and solves internal organ motion using tissue elasticity parameters and mesh boundary conditions. This physics-driven approach enhances the accuracy of solved motion in the organ's fine structures regions. This study used 11 lung patient cases to evaluate the performance of SMEIR-Bio, making both qualitative and quantitative comparisons between SMEIR-Bio, SMEIR, and the algebraic reconstruction technique with total variation regularization (ART-TV). The reconstruction results suggest that SMEIR-Bio improves the motion model's accuracy in regions containing small fine details, which consequently enhances the accuracy and quality of the reconstructed 4D-CBCT images.

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