Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is an important online imaging modality for image guided radiotherapy. But suboptimal image quality and the lack of a real-time stereoscopic imaging function limit its implementation in advanced treatment techniques, such as online adaptive and 4D radiotherapy. Tetrahedron beam computed tomography (TBCT) is a novel online imaging modality designed to improve on the image quality provided by CBCT. TBCT geometry is flexible, and multiple detector and source arrays can be used for different applications. In this paper, we describe a novel dual source-dual detector TBCT system that is specially designed for LINAC radiation treatment machines. The imaging system is positioned in-line with the MV beam and is composed of two linear array x-ray sources mounted aside the electrical portal imaging device and two linear arrays of x-ray detectors mounted below the machine head. The detector and x-ray source arrays are orthogonal to each other, and each pair of source and detector arrays forms a tetrahedral volume. Four planer images can be obtained from different view angles at each gantry position at a frame rate as high as 20 frames per second. The overlapped regions provide a stereoscopic field of view of approximately 10-15 cm. With a half gantry rotation, a volumetric CT image can be reconstructed having a 45 cm field of view. Due to the scatter rejecting design of the TBCT geometry, the system can potentially produce high quality 2D and 3D images with less radiation exposure. The design of the dual source-dual detector system is described, and preliminary results of studies performed on numerical phantoms and simulated patient data are presented.
- multi-pixel x-ray imaging
- stereoscopic x-ray