Radiological Physics and Technology

Publisher: Springer Verlag

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    1865-0341
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    212414506
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Springer Verlag

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The accuracy of gantry rotation times of less than 300 ms has been assessed for two "state-of-the art" MDCT systems. The rotation time was measured at selected nominal rotation times (275 and 280 ms) with a solid-state detector; Unfors Xi probe. The detector was positioned on the inner bottom of the gantry bore. Because a pair of two successive radiation peaks is necessary for determination of the rotation time, the radiation detection was performed with the helical scan mode of operation. Upon completion of the data acquisition, we determined the peak times with the Unfors Xi View software program to obtain the rotation time. The means and standard deviations of the measured rotation times were 275.3 ± 0.5 and 285.1 ± 0.4 ms, respectively. The inaccuracy of the rotation time was approximately 5 ms at most, which was comparable to that previously reported for slower rotation times.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim in this study was to obtain noninvasively more detailed information on perfusion and diffusion in vertebral bone marrow. We analyzed two diffusion components using a biexponential function. Eleven healthy volunteers were examined. By a 1.5-T MRI, we performed single-shot diffusion magnetic resonance imaging to acquire diffusion-weighted images (DWIs) with multiple b values. We determined perfusion-related diffusion and true diffusion coefficients (D* and D), the fraction of the perfusion-related diffusion component (F), and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in the lumbar vertebral body. Then, we compared these diffusion parameters with the bone mineral density (BMD) obtained with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Moreover, the fat fraction (FF) of the bone marrow was calculated by use of double gradient-echo images with and without spectral adiabatic inversion recovery in the same subject. The BMD showed a significant positive correlation with D*, whereas there was no significant correlation between the other diffusion parameters and BMD. There was a negative correlation between the D or ADC and FF, although no correlation was found between D* or F and FF. Diffusion analysis with a biexponential function made it possible to obtain detailed information on bone perfusion and diffusion in healthy young volunteers.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The applicability of the activation of an NaI scintillator for neutron monitoring at a clinical linac was investigated experimentally. Thermal neutron fluence rates are derived by measurement of the I-128 activity generated in an NaI scintillator irradiated by neutrons; β-rays from I-128 are detected efficiently by the NaI scintillator. In order to verify the validity of this method for neutron measurement, we irradiated an NaI scintillator at a research reactor, and the neutron fluence rate was estimated. The method was then applied to neutron measurement at a 10-MV linac (Varian Clinac 21EX), and the neutron fluence rate was estimated at the isocenter and at 30 cm from the isocenter. When the scintillator was irradiated directly by high-energy X-rays, the production of I-126 was observed due to photo-nuclear reactions, in addition to the generation of I-128 and Na-24. From the results obtained by these measurements, it was found that the neutron measurement by activation of an NaI scintillator has a great advantage in estimates of a low neutron fluence rate by use of a quick measurement following a short-time irradiation. Also, the future application of this method to quasi real-time monitoring of neutrons during patient treatments at a radiotherapy facility is discussed, as well as the method of evaluation of the neutron dose.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, various types of PET-MRI systems have been developed by a number of research groups. However, almost all of the PET detectors used in these PET-MRI systems have no depth-of-interaction (DOI) capability. The DOI detector can reduce the parallax error and lead to improvement of the performance. We are developing a new PET-MRI system which consists of four-layer DOI detectors positioned close to the measured object to achieve high spatial resolution and high scanner sensitivity. As a first step, we are investigating influences the PET detector and the MRI system have on each other using a prototype four-layer DOI-PET detector. This prototype detector consists of a lutetium yttrium orthosilicate crystal block and a 4 × 4 multi-pixel photon counter array. The size of each crystal element is 1.45 mm × 1.45 mm × 4.5 mm, and the crystals are arranged in 6 × 6 elements × 4 layers with reflectors. The detector and some electric components are packaged in an aluminum shielding box. Experiments were carried out with 3.0 T MRI (GE, Signa HDx) and a birdcage-type RF coil. We demonstrated that the DOI-PET detector was normally operated in simultaneous measurements with no influence of the MRI measurement. A slight influence of the PET detector on the static magnetic field of the MRI was observed near the PET detector. The signal-to-noise ratio was decreased by presence of the PET detector due to environmental noise entering the MRI room through the cables, even though the PET detector was not powered up. On the other hand, no influence of electric noise from the PET detector in the simultaneous measurement on the MRI images was observed, even though the PET detector was positioned near the RF coil.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 10/2014;
  • Radiological Physics and Technology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional diagnostic X-ray units are used for radiographic imaging in several countries. As a part of our quality control procedures, we recorded entrance surface air kerma, tube voltage, and half-value layer measurements for four diagnostic X-ray tubes over a 108 week course. The entrance surface air kerma for one of the X-ray tubes suddenly declined in the 107th week, and the filament burned out 1 week later. We retrospectively reviewed these data and observed that the entrance surface air kerma of the failing tube had increased as a function of elapsed time. The slopes for these four X-ray units were calculated, and we observed that the slope of the failing tube was higher than that of the other three tubes (P < 0.001). Monitoring of the fluctuation in the entrance surface air kerma would be valuable for predicting the residual life expectancy of X-ray tubes.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Our purpose in this study was to evaluate the performance of four-dimensional computed tomography (4D-CBCT) and to optimize the acquisition parameters. We evaluated the relationship between the acquisition parameters of 4D-CBCT and the accuracy of the target motion trajectory using a dynamic thorax phantom. The target motion was created three dimensionally using target sizes of 2 and 3 cm, respiratory cycles of 4 and 8 s, and amplitudes of 1 and 2 cm. The 4D-CBCT data were acquired under two detector configurations: "small mode" and "medium mode". The projection data acquired with scan times ranging from 1 to 4 min were sorted into 2, 5, 10, and 15 phase bins. The accuracy of the measured target motion trajectories was evaluated by means of the root mean square error (RMSE) from the setup values. For the respiratory cycle of 4 s, the measured trajectories were within 2 mm of the setup values for all acquisition times and target sizes. Similarly, the errors for the respiratory cycle of 8 s were <4 mm. When we used 10 or more phase bins, the measured trajectory errors were within 2 mm of the setup values. The trajectory errors for the two detector configurations showed similar trends. The acquisition times for achieving an RMSE of 1 mm for target sizes of 2 and 3 cm were 2 and 1 min, respectively, for respiratory cycles of 4 s. The results obtained in this study enable optimization of the acquisition parameters for target size, respiratory cycle, and desired measurement accuracy.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we evaluated the dosimetric performance of the three-dimensional (3D) dose verification system, COMPASS version 3 (IBA Dosimetry, GmbH, Germany). The COMPASS has the function of a dedicated beam modeling and dose calculation. It is able to reconstruct 3D dose distributions on patient CT images, using the incident fluence from a linear accelerator measured with the MatriXX 2D array (IBA Dosimetry). The dose profiles measured with various multi-leaf collimator (MLC) test patterns for the COMPASS were checked by comparison with those of EDR2 (Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY) films and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. The COMPASS was also used for dose verification in clinical intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans for head and neck cases. The dose distributions were compared with those measured by 3DVH (Sun Nuclear, Melbourne, FL) and MC. In addition, the quality assurance (QA) times among the COMPASS, 3DVH, and EDR2 were compared. For MLC test patterns, the COMPASS dose profiles agreed within 3 % with those of EDR2 films and MC simulations. The physical resolution of the COMPASS detectors was lower than that of film, but the dose resolution for MLC patterns was comparable to that of film. In clinical plans, the dose-volume-histograms were equal for all systems. The average QA times of the COMPASS, 3DVH, and EDR2 film were 40.1, 59.4, and 121.4 min, respectively. The COMPASS system provides fast and reliable 3D dose verification for clinical IMRT QA. The COMPASS QA process does not require phantom plans. Therefore, it allows a simple QA workflow.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to show whether sensitivity for detecting volume changes in regional gray matter in default mode network (DMN) at converted [from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease (from MCI to AD)] phase was improved by use of a standardized volume with global gray-matter volume. T1-weighted MR images (T1WI) of seven normal subjects and seven converted (from MCI to AD) patients were obtained from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. Gray-matter images segmented with Statistical Parametric Mapping 5 were measured by the atlas-based method. We focused on five nodes of the DMN. For each phase, region of interest (ROI) volumes in the five nodes were standardized by two methods: (1) the ratio to the screening phase (S_volume) and (2) the ratio to the screening phase after both volumes were standardized by the global gray-matter volume (S_N_volume). Significant group differences between longitudinal gray-matter volume change of the converted (from MCI to AD) group and that of the normal group were found in lateral temporal cortex by S_N_volume, and precuneus by S_N_volume. These findings are useful for improving the understanding of DMN volume changes at the converted (from MCI to AD) phase.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A system matrix (SM) is the basic component of iterative image reconstruction algorithms. Calculation of the SM needs a considerable amount of time due to an enormous number of lines of response (LORs) being modeled. In this study, we developed a technique based on a piece-wise calculation method in which symmetry and further division of the voxels are applied. The detector response function for all detectable pairs of photons along certain LORs originating from each voxel is calculated analytically. The total number of LORs in 300 × 300 × 120 voxels (with 2 × 2 × 2 mm(3)) is ~44 billion, and the SM was calculated by the use of three different computers independently; the calculation time was 5 h. The SM took 5 days when calculated by the use of the conventional method (where symmetry and the piece-wise method are not used). The sensitivity correction factor was stored; it had a size of 42 MB in a four-byte computer memory.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Under a previously approved institutional review board protocol for prostate cancer patients, implanted metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor dosimeters (dose verification system, Sicel Technologies) were used for measurement of the in vivo delivered daily dose. This dosimetric information provided the ability to adapt the plan if the measured doses did not match the dose expected from the planning system. Due to the inherent uncertainty in the dosimeters, the decision to adapt the treatment plan was made only if readings differed by more than 7 % for three consecutive days. To validate this method, we acquired daily cone beam computed tomography images for five patients, and the dose delivered to the dosimeters was calculated by use of (1) an automated procedure (MIM Maestro, MIM Software) and (2) the treatment planning system (XIO, Elekta). 72 % of the doses calculated automatically fell within 1 % of the doses calculated in the planning system, and 99 % agreed within 2 %. When compared to the calculated dose, 53 % of the in vivo measurements fell within 3 % of the calculated dose, 80 % fell within 5 %, and 9.8 % were greater than 7 %, but never on three consecutive days. The measured doses agreed reasonably well with the calculated doses, supporting the decision to adapt the plan only if there were discrepancies of more than 7 % over three consecutive days. Even with the inherent uncertainty in the dosimeters, this adaptive planning method can detect delivery inaccuracies that would not otherwise be caught with the use of only daily image guidance or other dose calculation surrogates.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Our primary objective in this study was to determine the preferred strength setting for the sinogram-affirmed iterative reconstruction algorithm (SAFIRE) in abdominal computed tomography (CT) imaging. Sixteen consecutive clinical CT scans of the abdomen were reconstructed by use of traditional filtered back projection (FBP) and 5 SAFIRE strengths: S1-S5. Six readers of differing experience were asked to rank the images on preference for overall diagnostic quality. The contrast-to-noise ratio was not significantly different between SAFIRE S1 and FBP, but increased with increasing SAFIRE strength. For pooled data, S2 and S3 were preferred equally but both were preferred over all other reconstructions. S5 was the least preferred, with FBP the next least preferred. This represents a marked disparity between the image quality based on quantitative parameters and qualitative preference. Care should be taken to factor in qualitative in addition to quantitative aspects of image quality when one is optimizing iterative reconstruction images.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we devised and evaluated a method for attenuation correction of the hot spot in (111)In planar images. By use of the difference in transmittance between two energies (171 and 245 keV), the depth of the hot spot was calculated. Planar images of point sources in a numerical phantom (water) with depths from 0 to 20 cm at 2 cm intervals were prepared by Monte Carlo simulation. From the linear attenuation coefficient of the two energies and the 171/245 keV count ratio-depth relationship, the depth of the point source was calculated, and an attenuation correction was performed. A simulation was made under conditions taking into account both attenuation and scatter (A(+)S(+)) and attenuation alone (A(+)S(-)). The attenuation correction was evaluated with use of corrected and true counts obtained from homogeneous phantoms mimicking attenuation in soft tissue, bone, and the lungs, and heterogeneous phantoms prepared by combining them. In the A(+)S(+) condition, images were affected markedly by scattered photons in all phantoms at depths of 4-8 cm. The errors at depths of 10 cm or greater were within ±10 % in water and within ±6 % in soft tissue. However, the errors were about -30 % in bone and about +70 % in lung, indicating that scatter distributions different from those in water increased the errors. In the A(+)S(-) condition, the errors were within ±5 % in all homogeneous and heterogeneous phantoms, and satisfactory results were obtained. Precise attenuation correction of scatter-corrected planar images was confirmed to be possible with this method.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We propose a method for measuring the modulation transfer function (MTF) of a computed tomography (CT) system by use of a circular edge method with a logistic curve-fitting technique. An American College of Radiology (ACR) phantom was scanned by a Philips Brilliance system, and axial images were reconstructed by the filtered back projection algorithm with a standard reconstruction filter. The radial MTF was measured from a disk image of a rod or cylinder in the ACR phantom by use of the circular edge method. In this study, we applied a logistic curve-fitting technique to an edge-spread function (ESF) to eliminate noise because the edge method is very susceptible to noise in the ESF in a CT image. The circular edge method with the logistic curve-fitting technique provided the MTF without fluctuations due to noise for the entire spatial frequency range. The MTF was not affected by the tube current, the slice thickness, or the disk contrast, which were factors related to the amount of noise in the CT image. However, the MTF was affected by the location of the disk and by the disk size, depending on the average distance from the isocenter to the disk edge. Our results indicated that the MTF measured by the circular edge method with the logistic curve-fitting technique was not susceptible to noise in CT images. Therefore, this method is useful for MTF measurement for not only high-contrast objects, but also low-contrast objects with a large amount of noise.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to optimize the exposure conditions in the acquisition of soft-tissue images using dual-energy subtraction chest radiography with a direct-conversion flat-panel detector system. Two separate chest images were acquired at high- and low-energy exposures with standard or thick chest phantoms. The high-energy exposure was fixed at 120 kVp with the use of an auto-exposure control technique. For the low-energy exposure, the tube voltages and entrance surface doses ranged 40-80 kVp and 20-100 % of the dose required for high-energy exposure, respectively. Further, a repetitive processing algorithm was used for reduction of the image noise generated by the subtraction process. Seven radiology technicians ranked soft-tissue images, and these results were analyzed using the normalized-rank method. Images acquired at 60 kVp were of acceptable quality regardless of the entrance surface dose and phantom size. Using a repetitive processing algorithm, the minimum acceptable doses were reduced from 75 to 40 % for the standard phantom and to 50 % for the thick phantom. We determined that the optimum low-energy exposure was 60 kVp at 50 % of the dose required for the high-energy exposure. This allowed the simultaneous acquisition of standard radiographs and soft-tissue images at 1.5 times the dose required for a standard radiograph, which is significantly lower than the values reported previously.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Electrodes are surgically implanted into the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of Parkinson's disease patients to provide deep brain stimulation. For ensuring correct positioning, the anatomic location of the STN must be determined preoperatively. Magnetic resonance imaging has been used for pinpointing the location of the STN. To identify the optimal imaging sequence for identifying the STN, we compared images produced with T2 star-weighted angiography (SWAN), gradient echo T2*-weighted imaging, and fast spin echo T2-weighted imaging in 6 healthy volunteers. Our comparison involved measurement of the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) for the STN and substantia nigra and a radiologist's interpretations of the images. Of the sequences examined, the CNR and qualitative scores were significantly higher on SWAN images than on other images (p < 0.01) for STN visualization. Kappa value (0.74) on SWAN images was the highest in three sequences for visualizing the STN. SWAN is the sequence best suited for identifying the STN at the present time.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Conventional diagnostic X-ray units are used for radiographic imaging in many countries. For obtaining entrance surface doses, a numerical dose determination method has been applied in Japan. Although this technique is effective, it has to account for errors, particularly fluctuations, due to the beam quality and output of X-ray tubes. As a part of our quality control procedures, we recorded the entrance surface air kerma, tube voltage, and half-value layer measurements made for four diagnostic X-ray tubes over a 103-week period. The entrance surface air kerma for one of the four X-ray tubes had increased significantly by 11.4 % over 1 year from its initial setting, whereas the tube voltages and half-value layers did not deviate significantly from their initial values. Medical physicists and radiological technologists should be aware of this fluctuation for diagnostic X-ray tubes and take it into consideration when calculating the entrance surface air kerma.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to clarify the differences between the estimated rectal dose (ERD) and the first measured dose (FMD) and second measured dose (SMD) to the rectum during high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy, and to predict FMD from the prostate volume (PV) or the rectal dose-volume parameters (RDVPs). ERD, FMD, and SMD were assessed with a rectal dosimeter during HDR brachytherapy of 18 Gy given in two fractions to 110 patients (48 hormone recipients, 62 hormone-naïve patients) with prostate cancer. The correlations between FMD and PV, and between FMD and RDVP (D 2ml-D 5ml) were investigated. ERD (mean ± SD) was 219 ± 44 cGy, FMD was 255 ± 52 cGy, and SMD was 298 ± 63 cGy, which differed significantly (p < 0.001). The correlation coefficients between ERD and FMD, and between FMD and SMD, were 0.82 and 0.78, respectively. SMD was equivalent to 118 ± 16 % FMD. The measured doses were significantly greater in the hormone recipients than in the hormone-naïve patients (p < 0.001). The increase in FMD correlated with the increases in PV and in RDVPs. The correlation coefficients between PV and FMD in all of the patients, in the hormone recipients, and in the hormone-naïve patients were 0.61, 0.64, and 0.64, respectively, whereas that between RDVPs and FMD was <0.53. In conclusion, the dose to the rectum increased with time and was correlated with the increases in PV and RDVPs. The correlation coefficient between FMD and PV was greater than that between FMD and RDVPs.
    Radiological Physics and Technology 07/2014;