4D-CT motion estimation using deformable image registration and 5D respiratory motion modeling

Deshan Yang, Wei Lu, Daniel A. Low, Joseph O. Deasy, Andrew J. Hope, Issam El Naqa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Four-dimensional computed tomography (4D-CT) imaging technology has been developed for radiation therapy to provide tumor and organ images at the different breathing phases. In this work, a procedure is proposed for estimating and modeling the respiratory motion field from acquired 4D-CT imaging data and predicting tissue motion at the different breathing phases. The 4D-CT image data consist of series of multislice CT volume segments acquired in ciń mode. A modified optical flow deformable image registration algorithm is used to compute the image motion from the CT segments to a common full volume 3D-CT reference. This reference volume is reconstructed using the acquired 4D-CT data at the end-of-exhalation phase. The segments are optimally aligned to the reference volume according to a proposed a priori alignment procedure. The registration is applied using a multigrid approach and a feature-preserving image downsampling maxfilter to achieve better computational speed and higher registration accuracy. The registration accuracy is about 1.1±0.8 mm for the lung region according to our verification using manually selected landmarks and artificially deformed CT volumes. The estimated motion fields are fitted to two 5D (spatial 3D+tidal volume+airflow rate) motion models: forward model and inverse model. The forward model predicts tissue movements and the inverse model predicts CT density changes as a function of tidal volume and airflow rate. A leave-one-out procedure is used to validate these motion models. The estimated modeling prediction errors are about 0.3 mm for the forward model and 0.4 mm for the inverse model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4577-4590
Number of pages14
JournalMedical physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008


  • 4D-CT
  • Deformable image registration
  • Optical flow
  • Respiratory motion modeling


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