An evaluation of techniques for dose calculation on cone beam computed tomography

Valentina Giacometti, Raymond B King, Christina E Agnew, Denise M Irvine, Suneil Jain, Alan R Hounsell, Conor K McGarry

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OBJECTIVE:: To assess the accuracy and efficiency of four different techniques, thus determining the optimum method for recalculating dose on cone beam CT (CBCT) images acquired during radiotherapy treatments.

METHODS:: Four established techniques were investigated and their accuracy assessed via dose calculations: (1) applying a standard planning CT (pCT) calibration curve, (2) applying a CBCT site-specific calibration curve, (3) performing a density override and (4) using deformable registration. Each technique was applied to 15 patients receiving volumetric modulated arc therapy to one of three treatment sites, head and neck, lung and prostate. Differences between pCT and CBCT recalculations were determined with dose volume histogram metrics and 2.0%/0.1 mm gamma analysis using the pCT dose distribution as a reference.

RESULTS:: Dose volume histogram analysis indicated that all techniques yielded differences from expected results between 0.0 and 2.3% for both target volumes and organs at risk. With volumetric gamma analysis, the dose recalculation on deformed images yielded the highest pass-rates. The median pass-rate ranges at 50% threshold were 99.6-99.9%, 94.6-96.0%, and 94.8.0-96.0% for prostate, head and neck and lung patients, respectively.

CONCLUSION:: Deformable registration, HU override and site-specific calibration curves were all identified as dosimetrically accurate and efficient methods for dose calculation on CBCT images.

ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE:: With the increasing adoption of CBCT, this study provides clinical radiotherapy departments with invaluable information regarding the comparison of dose reconstruction methods, enabling a more accurate representation of a patient's treatment. It can also integrate studies in which CBCT is used in image-guided radiation therapy and for adaptive radiotherapy planning processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180383
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1096
Early online date26 Feb 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 26 Feb 2019


  • Cone-Beam Computed Tomography/methods
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lung Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated/methods
  • Reproducibility of Results


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