Purpose: Image reconstruction and motion model estimation in four-dimensional cone-beam CT (4D-CBCT) are conventionally handled as two sequential steps. Due to the limited number of projections at each phase, the image quality of 4D-CBCT is degraded by view aliasing artifacts, and the accuracy of subsequent motion modeling is decreased by the inferior 4D-CBCT. The objective of this work is to enhance both the image quality of 4D-CBCT and the accuracy of motion model estimation with a novel strategy enabling simultaneous motion estimation and image reconstruction (SMEIR). Methods: The proposed SMEIR algorithm consists of two alternating steps: (1) model-based iterative image reconstruction to obtain a motion-compensated primary CBCT (m-pCBCT) and (2) motion model estimation to obtain an optimal set of deformation vector fields (DVFs) between the m-pCBCT and other 4D-CBCT phases. The motion-compensated image reconstruction is based on the simultaneous algebraic reconstruction technique (SART) coupled with total variation minimization. During the forward- and backprojection of SART, measured projections from an entire set of 4D-CBCT are used for reconstruction of the m-pCBCT by utilizing the updated DVF. The DVF is estimated by matching the forward projection of the deformed m-pCBCT and measured projections of other phases of 4D-CBCT. The performance of the SMEIR algorithm is quantitatively evaluated on a 4D NCAT phantom. The quality of reconstructed 4D images and the accuracy of tumor motion trajectory are assessed by comparing with those resulting from conventional sequential 4D-CBCT reconstructions (FDK and total variation minimization) and motion estimation (demons algorithm). The performance of the SMEIR algorithm is further evaluated by reconstructing a lung cancer patient 4D-CBCT. Results: Image quality of 4D-CBCT is greatly improved by the SMEIR algorithm in both phantom and patient studies. When all projections are used to reconstruct a 3D-CBCT by FDK, motion-blurring artifacts are present, leading to a 24.4% relative reconstruction error in the NACT phantom. View aliasing artifacts are present in 4D-CBCT reconstructed by FDK from 20 projections, with a relative error of 32.1%. When total variation minimization is used to reconstruct 4D-CBCT, the relative error is 18.9%. Image quality of 4D-CBCT is substantially improved by using the SMEIR algorithm and relative error is reduced to 7.6%. The maximum error (MaxE) of tumor motion determined from the DVF obtained by demons registration on a FDK-reconstructed 4D-CBCT is 3.0, 2.3, and 7.1 mm along left-right (L-R), anterior-posterior (A-P), and superior-inferior (S-I) directions, respectively. From the DVF obtained by demons registration on 4D-CBCT reconstructed by total variation minimization, the MaxE of tumor motion is reduced to 1.5, 0.5, and 5.5 mm along L-R, A-P, and S-I directions. From the DVF estimated by SMEIR algorithm, the MaxE of tumor motion is further reduced to 0.8, 0.4, and 1.5 mm along L-R, A-P, and S-I directions, respectively. Conclusions: The proposed SMEIR algorithm is able to estimate a motion model and reconstruct motion-compensated 4D-CBCT. The SMEIR algorithm improves image reconstruction accuracy of 4D-CBCT and tumor motion trajectory estimation accuracy as compared to conventional sequential 4D-CBCT reconstruction and motion estimation.
- Motion artifacts correction
- Motion-compensated image reconstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging