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Relative electron density determination using a physics based parameterization of photon interactions in medical DECT

van Abbema, J. K., van Goethem, M-J., Greuter, M. J. W., van der Schaaf, A., Brandenburg, S. & van der Graaf, E. R., 7-May-2015, In : Physics in Medicine and Biology. 60, 9, p. 3825-3846 22 p.

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  • Relative electron density determination using a physics based parameterization

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DOI

Radiotherapy and particle therapy treatment planning require accurate knowledge of the electron density and elemental composition of the tissues in the beam path to predict the local dose deposition. We describe a method for the analysis of dual energy computed tomography (DECT) images that provides the electron densities and effective atomic numbers of tissues. The CT measurement process is modelled by system weighting functions, which apply an energy dependent weighting to the parameterization of the total cross section for photon interactions with matter. This detailed parameterization is based on the theoretical analysis of Jackson and Hawkes and deviates, at most, 0.3% from the tabulated NIST values for the elements H to Zn. To account for beam hardening in the object as present in the CT image we implemented an iterative process employing a local weighting function, derived from the method proposed by Heismann and Balda. With this method effective atomic numbers between 1 and 30 can be determined. The method has been experimentally validated on a commercially available tissue characterization phantom with 16 inserts made of tissue substitutes and aluminium that has been scanned on a dual source CT system with tube potentials of 100 kV and 140 kV using a clinical scan protocol. Relative electron densities of all tissue substitutes have been determined with accuracy better than 1%. The presented DECT analysis method thus provides high accuracy electron densities and effective atomic numbers for radiotherapy and especially particle therapy treatment planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3825-3846
Number of pages22
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume60
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7-May-2015

    Keywords

  • electron density, effective atomic number, proton therapy, particle therapy, radiotherapy, dual energy CT, CARLO DOSE CALCULATIONS, ATTENUATION COEFFICIENTS, TISSUE SEGMENTATION, COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY, PROTON THERAPY, ATOMIC NUMBERS, BODY-TISSUES, CT NUMBERS, CALIBRATION, SIMULATION

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