Implementation and characterization of a 320-slice volumetric CT scanner for simulation in radiation oncology

C. Coolens, S. Breen, T. G. Purdie, A. Owrangi, J. Publicover, S. Bartolac, D. A. Jaffray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Effective target definition and broad employment of treatment response assessment with dynamic contrast-enhanced CT in radiation oncology requires increased speed and coverage for use within a single bolus injection. To this end, a novel volumetric CT scanner (Aquilion One, Toshiba, Tochigi Pref., Japan) has been installed at the Princess Margaret Hospital for implementation into routine CT simulation. This technology offers great advantages for anatomical and functional imaging in both scan speed and coverage. The aim of this work is to investigate the system's imaging performance and quality as well as CT quantification accuracy which is important for radiotherapy dose calculations. Methods: The 320-slice CT scanner uses a 160 mm wide-area (2D) solid-state detector design which provides the possibility to acquire a volumetric axial length of 160 mm without moving the CT couch. This is referred to as "volume" and can be scanned with a rotation speed of 0.35-3 s. The scanner can also be used as a 64-slice CT scanner and perform conventional (axial) and helical acquisitions with collimation ranges of 1-32 and 16-32 mm, respectively. Commissioning was performed according to AAPM Reports TG 66 and 39 for both helical and volumetric imaging. Defrise and other cone-beam image analysis tests were performed. Results: Overall, the imaging spatial resolution and geometric efficiency (GE) were found to be very good (>10 lp/mm, <1 mm spatial integrity and GE160 mm =85%) and within the AAPM guidelines as well as IEC recommendations. Although there is evidence of some cone-beam artifacts when scanning the Defrise phantom, image quality was found to be good and sufficient for treatment planning (soft tissue noise <10 HU). Measurements of CT number stability and contrast-to-noise values across the volume indicate clinically acceptable scan accuracy even at the field edge. Conclusions: Initial experience with this exciting new technology confirms its accuracy for routine CT simulation within radiation oncology and allows for future investigations into specialized dynamic volumetric imaging applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5120-5127
Number of pages8
JournalMedical physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009


  • Calibration
  • Computed tomography
  • Oncology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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