Purpose: To experimentally validate a new algorithm for reconstructing the 3D positions of implanted brachytherapy seeds from postoperatively acquired 2D conebeam-CT (CBCT) projection images. Methods: The iterative forward projection matching (IFPM) algorithm finds the 3D seed geometry that minimizes the sum of the squared intensity differences between computed projections of an initial estimate of the seed configuration and radiographic projections of the implant. In-house machined phantoms, containing arrays of 12 and 72 seeds, respectively, are used to validate this method. Also, four P 103 d postimplant patients are scanned using an ACUITY digital simulator. Three to ten x-ray images are selected from the CBCT projection set and processed to create binary seed-only images. To quantify IFPM accuracy, the reconstructed seed positions are forward projected and overlaid on the measured seed images to find the nearest-neighbor distance between measured and computed seed positions for each image pair. Also, the estimated 3D seed coordinates are compared to known seed positions in the phantom and clinically obtained VariSeed planning coordinates for the patient data. Results: For the phantom study, seed localization error is (0.58±0.33) mm. For all four patient cases, the mean registration error is better than 1 mm while compared against the measured seed projections. IFPM converges in 20-28 iterations, with a computation time of about 1.9-2.8 min/iteration on a 1 GHz processor. Conclusions: The IFPM algorithm avoids the need to match corresponding seeds in each projection as required by standard back-projection methods. The authors' results demonstrate ∼1 mm accuracy in reconstructing the 3D positions of brachytherapy seeds from the measured 2D projections. This algorithm also successfully localizes overlapping clustered and highly migrated seeds in the implant.
- iterative forward projection matching
- x-ray projections