A technique for estimating 4D-CBCT using prior knowledge and Limited-angle projections

You Zhang, Fang Fang Yin, W. Paul Segars, Lei Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop a technique to estimate onboard 4D-CBCT using prior information and limited-angle projections for potential 4D target verification of lung radiotherapy. Methods: Each phase of onboard 4D-CBCT is considered as a deformation from one selected phase (prior volume) of the planning 4D-CT. The deformation field maps (DFMs) are solved using a motion modeling and free-form deformation (MM-FD) technique. In the MM-FD technique, the DFMs are estimated using a motion model which is extracted from planning 4D-CT based on principal component analysis (PCA). The motion model parameters are optimized by matching the digitally reconstructed radiographs of the deformed volumes to the limited-angle onboard projections (data fidelity constraint). Afterward, the estimated DFMs are fine-tuned using a FD model based on data fidelity constraint and deformation energy minimization. The 4D digital extended-cardiac-torso phantom was used to evaluate the MM-FD technique. A lung patient with a 30 mm diameter lesion was simulated with various anatomical and respirational changes from planning 4D-CT to onboard volume, including changes of respiration amplitude, lesion size and lesion average-position, and phase shift between lesion and body respiratory cycle. The lesions were contoured in both the estimated and "ground-truth" onboard 4D-CBCT for comparison. 3D volume percentage-difference (VPD) and center-of-mass shift (COMS) were calculated to evaluate the estimation accuracy of three techniques: MM-FD, MM-only, and FD-only. Different onboard projection acquisition scenarios and projection noise levels were simulated to investigate their effects on the estimation accuracy. Results: For all simulated patient and projection acquisition scenarios, the mean VPD (±S.D.)/COMS (±S.D.) between lesions in prior images and "ground-truth" onboard images were 136.11% (±42.76%)/15.5 mm (±3.9 mm). Using orthogonal-view 15°-each scan angle, the mean VPD/COMS between the lesion in estimated and "ground-truth" onboard images for MM-only, FD-only, and MM-FD techniques were 60.10% (±27.17%)/4.9 mm (±3.0 mm), 96.07% (±31.48%)/12.1 mm (±3.9 mm) and 11.45% (±9.37%)/1.3 mm (±1.3 mm), respectively. For orthogonal-view 30°-each scan angle, the corresponding results were 59.16% (±26.66%)/4.9 mm (±3.0 mm), 75.98% (±27.21%)/9.9 mm (±4.0 mm), and 5.22% (±2.12%)/0.5 mm (±0.4 mm). For single-view scan angles of 3°, 30°, and 60°, the results for MM-FD technique were 32.77% (±17.87%)/3.2 mm (±2.2 mm), 24.57% (±18.18%)/2.9 mm (±2.0 mm), and 10.48% (±9.50%)/1.1 mm (±1.3 mm), respectively. For projection angular-sampling-intervals of 0.6°, 1.2°, and 2.5°with the orthogonal-view 30°-each scan angle, the MM-FD technique generated similar VPD (maximum deviation 2.91%) and COMS (maximum deviation 0.6 mm), while sparser sampling yielded larger VPD/COMS. With equal number of projections, the estimation results using scattered 360°scan angle were slightly better than those using orthogonal-view 30°-each scan angle. The estimation accuracy of MM-FD technique declined as noise level increased. Conclusions: The MM-FD technique substantially improves the estimation accuracy for onboard 4D-CBCT using prior planning 4D-CT and limited-angle projections, compared to the MM-only and FD-only techniques. It can potentially be used for the inter/intrafractional 4D-localization verification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121701
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • 4D-CBCT
  • Constrained optimization
  • Free-form deformation
  • Image estimation
  • PCA motion modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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