Retrospective Analysis of Artifacts in Four-Dimensional CT Images of 50 Abdominal and Thoracic Radiotherapy Patients

Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5847, USA.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Impact Factor: 4.26). 10/2008; 72(4):1250-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.06.1937
Source: PubMed


To quantify the type, frequency, and magnitude of artifacts in four-dimensional (4D) CT images acquired using a multislice cine method.
Fifty consecutive patients who underwent 4D-CT scanning and radiotherapy for thoracic or abdominal cancers were included in this study. All the 4D-CT scans were performed on the GE multislice PET/CT scanner with the Varian Real-time Position Management system in cine mode. The GE Advantage 4D software was used to create 4D-CT data sets. The artifacts were then visually and quantitatively analyzed. We performed statistical analyses to evaluate the relationships between patient- or breathing-pattern-related parameters and the occurrence as well as magnitude of artifacts.
It was found that 45 of 50 patients (90%) had at least one artifact (other than blurring) with a mean magnitude of 11.6 mm (range, 4.4-56.0 mm) in the diaphragm or heart. We also observed at least one artifact in 6 of 20 lung or mediastinal tumors (30%). Statistical analysis revealed that there were significant differences between several breathing-pattern-related parameters, including abdominal displacement (p < 0.01), for the subgroups of patients with and without artifacts. The magnitude of an artifact was found to be significantly but weakly correlated with the abdominal displacement difference between two adjacent couch positions (R = 0.34, p < 0.01).
This study has identified that the frequency and magnitude of artifacts in 4D-CT is alarmingly high. Significant improvement is needed in 4D-CT imaging.

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    • "For example, Yamamoto et al. found that 45 of 50 patients had at least one artifact, with mean magnitude of 11.6 mm (range: 4.4–56.0 mm) [6]. "
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