Physics in Medicine and Biology (Phys Med Biol)

Publisher: Institute of Physics (Great Britain), IOP Publishing

Journal description

Subject coverage. The application of theoretical and practical physics to medicine, physiology and biology. Papers on physics with no obvious medical or biological applications, or papers which are almost entirely clinical or biological in their approach are not acceptable.

Current impact factor: 2.76

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 Impact Factor 2.761
2013 Impact Factor 2.922
2012 Impact Factor 2.701
2011 Impact Factor 2.829
2010 Impact Factor 3.056
2009 Impact Factor 2.781
2008 Impact Factor 2.784
2007 Impact Factor 2.528
2006 Impact Factor 2.873
2005 Impact Factor 2.683
2004 Impact Factor 2.368
2003 Impact Factor 2.128
2002 Impact Factor 2.342
2001 Impact Factor 1.805
2000 Impact Factor 2.013
1999 Impact Factor 1.888
1998 Impact Factor 1.768
1997 Impact Factor 1.542
1996 Impact Factor 1.401
1995 Impact Factor 1.193
1994 Impact Factor 1.386
1993 Impact Factor 1.246
1992 Impact Factor 1.117

Impact factor over time

Impact factor
Year

Additional details

5-year impact 2.97
Cited half-life 7.40
Immediacy index 0.45
Eigenfactor 0.04
Article influence 0.97
Website Physics in Medicine and Biology website
Other titles Physics in medicine & biology (Online), Physics in medicine and biology
ISSN 1361-6560
OCLC 34482128
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

IOP Publishing

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print on author's personal website, repository or arXiv.
    • Pre-print can not be updated after submission
    • Post-print on author's personal website immediately
    • Post-print on institutional repository, subject-based repository, PubMed Central or third party eprint servers after 12 months embargo
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Must link to publisher version with DOI
    • Set statements to accompany different versions (see policy)
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'IOP Publishing'
  • Classification
    green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The irradiation of selective regions in a polymer gel dosimeter results in an increase in optical density and refractive index (RI) at those regions. An optical tomography-based dosimeter depends on rayline path through the dosimeter to estimate and reconstruct the dose distribution. The refraction of light passing through a dose region results in artefacts in the reconstructed images. These refraction errors are dependant on the scanning geometry and collection optics. We developed a fully 3D image reconstruction algorithm, algebraic reconstruction technique-refraction correction (ART-rc) that corrects for the refractive index mismatches present in a gel dosimeter scanner not only at the boundary, but also for any rayline refraction due to multiple dose regions inside the dosimeter. In this study, simulation and experimental studies have been carried out to reconstruct a 3D dose volume using 2D CCD measurements taken for various views. The study also focuses on the effectiveness of using different refractive-index matching media surrounding the gel dosimeter. Since the optical density is assumed to be low for a dosimeter, the filtered backprojection is routinely used for reconstruction. We carry out the reconstructions using conventional algebraic reconstruction (ART) and refractive index corrected ART (ART-rc) algorithms. The reconstructions based on FDK algorithm for cone-beam tomography has also been carried out for comparison. Line scanners and point detectors, are used to obtain reconstructions plane by plane. The rays passing through dose region with a RI mismatch does not reach the detector in the same plane depending on the angle of incidence and RI. In the fully 3D scanning setup using 2D array detectors, light rays that undergo refraction are still collected and hence can still be accounted for in the reconstruction algorithm. It is found that, for the central region of the dosimeter, the usable radius using ART-rc algorithm with water as RI matched medium is 71.8%, an increase of 6.4% compared to that achieved using conventional ART algorithm. Smaller diameter dosimeters are scanned with dry air scanning by using a wide-angle lens that collects refracted light. The images reconstructed using cone beam geometry is seen to deteriorate in some planes as those regions are not scanned. Refraction correction is important and needs to be taken in to consideration to achieve quantitatively accurate dose reconstructions. Refraction modeling is crucial in array based scanners as it is not possible to identify refracted rays in the sinogram space.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: In order to integrate radiobiological modelling with clinical treatment planning for proton radiotherapy, we extended our in-house treatment planning system FoCa with a 3D analytical algorithm to calculate linear energy transfer (LET) in voxelized patient geometries. Both active scanning and passive scattering delivery modalities are supported. The analytical calculation is much faster than the Monte-Carlo (MC) method and it can be implemented in the inverse treatment planning optimization suite, allowing us to create LET-based objectives in inverse planning. The LET was calculated by combining a 1D analytical approach including a novel correction for secondary protons with pencil-beam type LET-kernels. Then, these LET kernels were inserted into the proton-convolution-superposition algorithm in FoCa. The analytical LET distributions were benchmarked against MC simulations carried out in Geant4. A cohort of simple phantom and patient plans representing a wide variety of sites (prostate, lung, brain, head and neck) was selected. The calculation algorithm was able to reproduce the MC LET to within 6% (1 standard deviation) for low-LET areas (under 1.7 keV μm(-1)) and within 22% for the high-LET areas above that threshold. The dose and LET distributions can be further extended, using radiobiological models, to include radiobiological effectiveness (RBE) calculations in the treatment planning system. This implementation also allows for radiobiological optimization of treatments by including RBE-weighted dose constraints in the inverse treatment planning process.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The Italian National Institute of Ionizing Radiation Metrology (ENEA-INMRI) has designed and built a graphite calorimeter that, in a water phantom, has allowed the determination of the absorbed dose to water in medium-energy x-rays with generating voltages from 180 to 250 kV. The new standard is a miniaturized three-bodies calorimeter, with a disc-shaped core of 21 mm diameter and 2 mm thickness weighing 1.134 g, sealed in a PMMA waterproof envelope with air-evacuated gaps. The measured absorbed dose to graphite is converted into absorbed dose to water by means of an energy-dependent conversion factor obtained from Monte Carlo simulations. Heat-transfer correction factors were determined by FEM calculations. At a source-to-detector distance of 100 cm, a depth in water of 2 g cm(-2), and at a dose rate of about 0.15 Gy min(-1), results of calorimetric measurements of absorbed dose to water, D w, were compared to experimental determinations, D wK, obtained via an ionization chamber calibrated in terms of air kerma, according to established dosimetry protocols. The combined standard uncertainty of D w and D wK were estimated as 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively. The two absorbed dose to water determinations were in agreement within 1%, well below the stated measurement uncertainties. Advancements are in progress to extend the measurement capability of the new in-water-phantom graphite calorimeter to other filtered medium-energy x-ray qualities and to reduce the D w uncertainty to around 1%. The new calorimeter represents the first implementation of in-water-phantom graphite calorimetry in the kilovoltage range and, allowing independent determinations of D w, it will contribute to establish a robust system of absorbed dose to water primary standards for medium-energy x-ray beams.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Numerical dosimetry studies require the development of accurate numerical 3D models of the human body. This paper proposes a novel method for building 3D heterogeneous young children models combining results obtained from a semi-automatic multi-organ segmentation algorithm and an anatomy deformation method. The data consist of 3D magnetic resonance images, which are first segmented to obtain a set of initial tissues. A deformation procedure guided by the segmentation results is then developed in order to obtain five young children models ranging from the age of 5 to 37 months. By constraining the deformation of an older child model toward a younger one using segmentation results, we assure the anatomical realism of the models. Using the proposed framework, five models, containing thirteen tissues, are built. Three of these models are used in a prospective dosimetry study to analyze young child exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The results lean to show the existence of a relationship between age and whole body exposure. The results also highlight the necessity to specifically study and develop measurements of child tissues dielectric properties.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: By adapting to the actual patient anatomy during treatment, tracked multi-leaf collimator (MLC) treatment deliveries offer an opportunity for margin reduction and healthy tissue sparing. This is assumed to be especially relevant for hypofractionated protocols in which intrafractional motion does not easily average out. In order to confidently deliver tracked treatments with potentially reduced margins, it is necessary to monitor not only the patient anatomy but also the actually delivered dose during irradiation. In this study, we present a novel real-time online dose reconstruction tool which calculates actually delivered dose based on pre-calculated dose influence data in less than 10 ms at a rate of 25 Hz. Using this tool we investigate the impact of clinical target volume (CTV) to planning target volume (PTV) margins on CTV coverage and organ-at-risk dose. On our research linear accelerator, a set of four different CTV-to-PTV margins were tested for three patient cases subject to four different motion conditions. Based on this data, we can conclude that tracking eliminates dose cold spots which can occur in the CTV during conventional deliveries even for the smallest CTV-to-PTV margin of 1 mm. Changes of organ-at-risk dose do occur frequently during MLC tracking and are not negligible in some cases. Intrafractional dose reconstruction is expected to become an important element in any attempt of re-planning the treatment plan during the delivery based on the observed anatomy of the day.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Modern proton therapy affords control of the delivery of radiotherapeutic dose on fine length and temporal scales. The authors have developed a novel detector technology based on Micromesh Gaseous Structure (Micromegas) that is uniquely tailored for applications using therapeutic proton beams. An implementation of a prototype Micromegas detector for Monte Carlo using Geant4 is presented here. Comparison of simulation results with measurements demonstrates agreement in relative dose along the proton longitudinal dose profile to be 1%. The effect of a radioactive calibration source embedded in the chamber gas is demonstrated by measurements and reproduced by simulations, also at the 1% level. Our Monte Carlo simulations are shown to reproduce the time structure of ionization pulses produced by a double-scattering delivery system.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of superficial tumors that move with respiration (e.g. lung tumors) using spot-scanning proton therapy (SSPT) is a high-priority research area. The recently developed real-time image-gated proton beam therapy (RGPT) system has proven to be useful for treating moving tumors deep inside the liver. However, when treating superficial tumors, the proton's range is small and so is the sizes of range straggling, making the Bragg-peaks extremely sharp compared to those located in deep-seated tumors. The extreme sharpness of Bragg-peaks is not always beneficial because it necessitates a large number of energy layers to make a spread-out Bragg-peak, resulting in long treatment times, and is vulnerable to motion-induced dose deterioration. We have investigated a method to treat superficial moving tumors in the lung by the development of an applicator compatible with the RGPT system. A mini-ridge filter (MRF) was developed to broaden the pristine Bragg-peak and, accordingly, decrease the number of required energy layers to obtain homogeneous irradiation. The applicator position was designed so that the fiducial marker's trajectory can be monitored by fluoroscopy during proton beam-delivery. The treatment plans for three lung cancer patients were made using the applicator, and four-dimensional (4D) dose calculations for the RGPT were performed using patient respiratory motion data. The effect of the MRF on the dose distributions and treatment time was evaluated. With the MRF, the number of energy layers was decreased to less than half of that needed without it, whereas the target volume coverage values (D99%, D95%, D50%, D2%) changed by less than 1% of the prescribed dose. Almost no dose distortion was observed after the 4D dose calculation, whereas the treatment time decreased by 26%–37%. Therefore, we conclude that the developed applicator compatible with RGPT is useful to solve the issue in the treatment of superficial moving tumors with SSPT.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (fDOT) provides 3D images of fluorescence distributions in biological tissue, which represent molecular and cellular processes. The image reconstruction problem is highly ill-posed and requires regularisation techniques to stabilise and find meaningful solutions. Quadratic regularisation tends to either oversmooth or generate very noisy reconstructions, depending on the regularisation strength. Edge preserving methods, such as anisotropic diffusion regularisation (AD), can preserve important features in the fluorescence image and smooth out noise. However, AD has limited ability to distinguish an edge from noise. In this two-part paper, we propose a patch-based anisotropic diffusion regularisation (PAD), where regularisation strength is determined by a weighted average according to the similarity between patches around voxels within a search window, instead of a simple local neighbourhood strategy. However, this method has higher computational complexity and, hence, we wavelet compress the patches (PAD-WT) to speed it up, while simultaneously taking advantage of the denoising properties of wavelet thresholding. The proposed method combines the nonlocal means (NLM), AD and wavelet shrinkage methods, which are image processing methods. Therefore, in this first paper, we used a denoising test problem to analyse the performance of the new method. Our results show that the proposed PAD-WT method provides better results than the AD or NLM methods alone. The efficacy of the method for fDOT image reconstruction problem is evaluated in part 2.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: This is a proof of principle study on an algorithm for optimizing external beam radiotherapy in terms of both photon beamlet energy and fluence. This simultaneous beamlet energy and fluence optimization is denoted modulated photon radiotherapy (XMRT). XMRT is compared with single-energy intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for five clinically relevant test geometries to determine whether treating beamlet energy as a decision variable improves the dose distributions. All test geometries were modelled in a cylindrical water phantom. XMRT optimized the fluence for 6 and 18 MV beamlets while IMRT optimized with only 6 MV and only 18 MV. CERR (computational environment for radiotherapy research) was used to calculate the dose deposition matrices and the resulting dose for XMRT and IMRT solutions. Solutions were compared via their dose volume histograms and dose metrics, such as the mean, maximum, and minimum doses for each structure. The homogeneity index (HI) and conformity number (CN) were calculated to assess the quality of the target dose coverage. Complexity of the resulting fluence maps was minimized using the sum of positive gradients technique. The results showed XMRT's ability to improve healthy-organ dose reduction while yielding comparable coverage of the target relative to IMRT for all geometries. All three energy-optimization approaches yielded similar HI and CNs for all geometries, as well as a similar degree of fluence map complexity. The dose reduction provided by XMRT was demonstrated by the relative decrease in the dose metrics for the majority of the organs at risk (OARs) in all geometries. Largest reductions ranged between 5% to 10% in the mean dose to OARs for two of the geometries when compared with both single-energy IMRT schemes. XMRT has shown potential dosimetric benefits through improved OAR sparing by allowing beam energy to act as a degree of freedom in the EBRT optimization process.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Correction for rigid object motion in helical CT can be achieved by reconstructing from a modified source-detector orbit, determined by the object motion during the scan. This ensures that all projections are consistent, but it does not guarantee that the projections are complete in the sense of being sufficient for exact reconstruction. We have previously shown with phantom measurements that motion-corrected helical CT scans can suffer from data-insufficiency, in particular for severe motions and at high pitch. To study whether such data-insufficiency artefacts could also affect the motion-corrected CT images of patients undergoing head CT scans, we used an optical motion tracking system to record the head movements of 10 healthy volunteers while they executed each of the 4 different types of motion ('no', slight, moderate and severe) for 60 s. From these data we simulated 354 motion-affected CT scans of a voxelized human head phantom and reconstructed them with and without motion correction. For each simulation, motion-corrected (MC) images were compared with the motion-free reference, by visual inspection and with quantitative similarity metrics. Motion correction improved similarity metrics in all simulations. Of the 270 simulations performed with moderate or less motion, only 2 resulted in visible residual artefacts in the MC images. The maximum range of motion in these simulations would encompass that encountered in the vast majority of clinical scans. With severe motion, residual artefacts were observed in about 60% of the simulations. We also evaluated a new method of mapping local data sufficiency based on the degree to which Tuy's condition is locally satisfied, and observed that areas with high Tuy values corresponded to the locations of residual artefacts in the MC images. We conclude that our method can provide accurate and artefact-free MC images with most types of head motion likely to be encountered in CT imaging, provided that the motion can be accurately determined.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: A pencil beam model for the calculation of the lateral scattering in water of protons for any therapeutic energy and depth is presented. It is based on the full Molière theory, taking into account the energy loss and the effects of mixtures and compounds. Concerning the electromagnetic part, the model has no free parameters and is in very good agreement with the FLUKA Monte Carlo (MC) code. The effects of the nuclear interactions are parametrized with a two-parameter tail function, adjusted on MC data calculated with FLUKA. The model, after the convolution with the beam and the detector response, is in agreement with recent proton data in water from HIT. The model gives results with the same accuracy of the MC codes based on Molière theory, with a much shorter computing time.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Fluorescence diffuse optical tomography (fDOT) provides 3D images of fluorescence distributions in biological tissue, which represent molecular and cellular processes. The image reconstruction problem is highly ill-posed and requires regularisation techniques to stabilise and find meaningful solutions. Quadratic regularisation tends to either oversmooth or generate very noisy reconstructions, depending on the regularisation strength. Edge preserving methods, such as anisotropic diffusion regularisation (AD), can preserve important features in the fluorescence image and smooth out noise. However, AD has limited ability to distinguish an edge from noise. We propose a patch-based anisotropic diffusion regularisation (PAD), where regularisation strength is determined by a weighted average according to the similarity between patches around voxels within a search window, instead of a simple local neighbourhood strategy. However, this method has higher computational complexity and, hence, we wavelet compress the patches (PAD-WT) to speed it up, while simultaneously taking advantage of the denoising properties of wavelet thresholding. Furthermore, structural information can be incorporated into the image reconstruction with PAD-WT to improve image quality and resolution. In this case, the weights used to average voxels in the image are calculated using the structural image, instead of the fluorescence image. The regularisation strength depends on both structural and fluorescence images, which guarantees that the method can preserve fluorescence information even when it is not structurally visible in the anatomical images. In part 1, we tested the method using a denoising problem. Here, we use simulated and in vivo mouse fDOT data to assess the algorithm performance. Our results show that the proposed PAD-WT method provides high quality and noise free images, superior to those obtained using AD.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: This work is an extension of our recent work on joint activity reconstruction/motion estimation (JRM) from positron emission tomography (PET) data. We performed JRM by maximization of the penalized log-likelihood in which the probabilistic model assumes that the same motion field affects both the activity distribution and the attenuation map. Our previous results showed that JRM can successfully reconstruct the activity distribution when the attenuation map is misaligned with the PET data, but converges slowly due to the significant cross-talk in the likelihood. In this paper, we utilize time-of-flight PET for JRM and demonstrate that the convergence speed is significantly improved compared to JRM with conventional PET data.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: GEC-ESTRO guidelines for high dose rate cervical brachytherapy advocate the reporting of the D2cc (the minimum dose received by the maximally exposed 2cc volume) to organs at risk. Due to large interfractional organ motion, reporting of accurate cumulative D2cc over a multifractional course is a non-trivial task requiring deformable image registration and deformable dose summation. To efficiently and accurately describe the point-to-point correspondence of the bladder wall over all treatment fractions while preserving local topologies, we propose a novel graphic processing unit (GPU)-based non-rigid point matching algorithm. This is achieved by introducing local anatomic information into the iterative update of correspondence matrix computation in the 'thin plate splines-robust point matching' (TPS-RPM) scheme. The performance of the GPU-based TPS-RPM with local topology preservation algorithm (TPS-RPM-LTP) was evaluated using four numerically simulated synthetic bladders having known deformations, a custom-made porcine bladder phantom embedded with twenty one fiducial markers, and 29 fractional computed tomography (CT) images from seven cervical cancer patients. Results show that TPS-RPM-LTP achieved excellent geometric accuracy with landmark residual distance error (RDE) of 0.7 ± 0.3 mm for the numerical synthetic data with different scales of bladder deformation and structure complexity, and 3.7 ± 1.8 mm and 1.6 ± 0.8 mm for the porcine bladder phantom with large and small deformation, respectively. The RDE accuracy of the urethral orifice landmarks in patient bladders was 3.7 ± 2.1 mm. When compared to the original TPS-RPM, the TPS-RPM-LTP improved landmark matching by reducing landmark RDE by 50 ± 19%, 37 ± 11% and 28 ± 11% for the synthetic, porcine phantom and the patient bladders, respectively. This was achieved with a computational time of less than 15 s in all cases with GPU acceleration. The efficiency and accuracy shown with the TPS-RPM-LTP indicate that it is a practical and promising tool for bladder dose summation in adaptive cervical cancer brachytherapy.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The resistance of hypoxic cells to radiation, due to the oxygen dependence of radiosensitivity, is well known and must be taken into account to accurately calculate the radiation induced cell death. A proper modelling of the response of tumours to radiation requires deriving the distribution of oxygen at a microscopic scale. This usually involves solving the reaction-diffusion equation in tumour voxels using a vascularization distribution model. Moreover, re-oxygenation arises during the course of radiotherapy, one reason being the increase of available oxygen caused by cell killing, which can turn hypoxic tumours into oxic. In this work we study the effect of cell death kinetics in tumour oxygenation modelling, analysing how it affects the timing of re-oxygenation, surviving fraction and tumour control. Two models of cell death are compared, an instantaneous cell killing, mimicking early apoptosis, and a delayed cell death scenario in which cells can die shortly after being damaged, as well as long after irradiation. For each of these scenarios, the decrease in oxygen consumption due to cell death can be computed globally (macroscopic voxel average) or locally (microscopic). A re-oxygenation model already used in the literature, the so called full re-oxygenation, is also considered. The impact of cell death kinetics and re-oxygenation on tumour responses is illustrated for two radiotherapy fractionation schemes: a conventional schedule, and a hypofractionated treatment. The results show large differences in the doses needed to achieve 50% tumour control for the investigated cell death models. Moreover, the models affect the tumour responses differently depending on the treatment schedule. This corroborates the complex nature of re-oxygenation, showing the need to take into account the kinetics of cell death in radiation response models.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The reconstructed slice quality of flat-detector computed tomography (CT) is often disturbed by concentric-ring artifacts. Since concentric rings in CT slices appear as straight stripes when transformed into polar coordinates, a variation-based model is proposed to suppress the stripes. The method is motivated by two observations about stripes in polar coordinates: (1) ring artifacts attenuate gradually along the radial direction, leading to a sparse distribution of stripes and (2) stripes greatly distort the image gradient across the stripes, while slightly affecting the image gradient along the stripes. Thus, a [Formula: see text]-norm-based data fidelity term and a [Formula: see text]-norm/[Formula: see text]-norm unidirectional variation-based regularization term are presented to characterize the stripes. The alternating direction method of multipliers is introduced to solve the resulting minimization problem. Moreover, we discuss the interpolation methods used in coordinate transformation and find that the nearest neighbor interpolation is optimal. Experimental results on simulated and real data demonstrate that our method can correct ring artifacts effectively compared with state-of-the-art coordinate transformation-based methods, as well as preserve the structures and details of slices.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: This work presents a comprehensive Monte Carlo (MC) simulation model for the Gamma Knife Perfexion (PFX) radiosurgery unit. Model-based dosimetry calculations were benchmarked in terms of relative dose profiles (RDPs) and output factors (OFs), against corresponding EBT2 measurements. To reduce the rather prolonged computational time associated with the comprehensive PFX model MC simulations, two approximations were explored and evaluated on the grounds of dosimetric accuracy. The first consists in directional biasing of the (60)Co photon emission while the second refers to the implementation of simplified source geometric models. The effect of the dose scoring volume dimensions in OF calculations accuracy was also explored. RDP calculations for the comprehensive PFX model were found to be in agreement with corresponding EBT2 measurements. Output factors of 0.819 ± 0.004 and 0.8941 ± 0.0013 were calculated for the 4 mm and 8 mm collimator, respectively, which agree, within uncertainties, with corresponding EBT2 measurements and published experimental data. Volume averaging was found to affect OF results by more than 0.3% for scoring volume radii greater than 0.5 mm and 1.4 mm for the 4 mm and 8 mm collimators, respectively. Directional biasing of photon emission resulted in a time efficiency gain factor of up to 210 with respect to the isotropic photon emission. Although no considerable effect on relative dose profiles was detected, directional biasing led to OF overestimations which were more pronounced for the 4 mm collimator and increased with decreasing emission cone half-angle, reaching up to 6% for a 5° angle. Implementation of simplified source models revealed that omitting the sources' stainless steel capsule significantly affects both OF results and relative dose profiles, while the aluminum-based bushing did not exhibit considerable dosimetric effect. In conclusion, the results of this work suggest that any PFX simulation model should be benchmarked in terms of both RDP and OF results.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: PET scans use overlapping acquisition beds to correct for reduced sensitivity at bed edges. The optimum overlap size for the General Electric (GE) Discovery 690 has not been established. This study assesses how image quality is affected by slice overlap. Efficacy of 23% overlaps (recommended by GE) and 49% overlaps (maximum possible overlap) were specifically assessed. European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) guidelines for calculating minimum injected activities based on overlap size were also reviewed. A uniform flood phantom was used to assess noise (coefficient of variation, (COV)) and voxel accuracy (activity concentrations, Bq ml−1). A NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) body phantom with hot/cold spheres in a background activity was used to assess contrast recovery coefficients (CRCs) and signal to noise ratios (SNR). Different overlap sizes and sphere-to-background ratios were assessed. COVs for 49% and 23% overlaps were 9% and 13% respectively. This increased noise was difficult to visualise on the 23% overlap images. Mean voxel activity concentrations were not affected by overlap size. No clinically significant differences in CRCs were observed. However, visibility and SNR of small, low contrast spheres (≤13 mm diameter, 2:1 sphere to background ratio) may be affected by overlap size in low count studies if they are located in the overlap area. There was minimal detectable influence on image quality in terms of noise, mean activity concentrations or mean CRCs when comparing 23% overlap with 49% overlap. Detectability of small, low contrast lesions may be affected in low count studies—however, this is a worst-case scenario. The marginal benefits of increasing overlap from 23% to 49% are likely to be offset by increased patient scan times. A 23% overlap is therefore appropriate for clinical use. An amendment to EANM guidelines for calculating injected activities is also proposed which better reflects the effect overlap size has on image noise.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Multi-tracer positron emission tomography (PET) can image two or more tracers in a single scan, characterizing multiple aspects of biological functions to provide new insights into many diseases. The technique uses dynamic imaging, resulting in time-activity curves that contain contributions from each tracer present. The process of separating and recovering separate images and/or imaging measures for each tracer requires the application of kinetic constraints, which are most commonly applied by fitting parallel compartment models for all tracers. Such multi-tracer compartment modeling presents challenging nonlinear fits in multiple dimensions. This work extends separable parameter space kinetic modeling techniques, previously developed for fitting single-tracer compartment models, to fitting multi-tracer compartment models. The multi-tracer compartment model solution equations were reformulated to maximally separate the linear and nonlinear aspects of the fitting problem, and separable least-squares techniques were applied to effectively reduce the dimensionality of the nonlinear fit. The benefits of the approach are then explored through a number of illustrative examples, including characterization of separable parameter space multi-tracer objective functions and demonstration of exhaustive search fits which guarantee the true global minimum to within arbitrary search precision. Iterative gradient-descent algorithms using Levenberg-Marquardt were also tested, demonstrating improved fitting speed and robustness as compared to corresponding fits using conventional model formulations. The proposed technique overcomes many of the challenges in fitting simultaneous multi-tracer PET compartment models.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Physics in Medicine and Biology