Reconstruction of brachytherapy seed positions and orientations from cone-beam CT x-ray projections via a novel iterative forward projection matching method

Damodar Pokhrel, Martin J. Murphy, Dorin A. Todor, Elisabeth Weiss, Jeffrey F. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To generalize and experimentally validate a novel algorithm for reconstructing the 3D pose (position and orientation) of implanted brachytherapy seeds from a set of a few measured 2D cone-beam CT (CBCT) x-ray projections. Methods: The iterative forward projection matching (IFPM) algorithm was generalized to reconstruct the 3D pose, as well as the centroid, of brachytherapy seeds from three to ten measured 2D projections. The gIFPM algorithm finds the set of seed poses that minimizes the sum-of-squared- difference of the pixel-by-pixel intensities between computed and measured autosegmented radiographic projections of the implant. Numerical simulations of clinically realistic brachytherapy seed configurations were performed to demonstrate the proof of principle. An in-house machined brachytherapy phantom, which supports precise specification of seed position and orientation at known values for simulated implant geometries, was used to experimentally validate this algorithm. The phantom was scanned on an ACUITY CBCT digital simulator over a full 660 sinogram projections. Three to ten x-ray images were selected from the full set of CBCT sinogram projections and postprocessed to create binary seed-only images. Results: In the numerical simulations, seed reconstruction position and orientation errors were approximately 0.6 mm and 5°, respectively. The physical phantom measurements demonstrated an absolute positional accuracy of (0.78±0.57) mm or less. The θ and angle errors were found to be (5.7±4.9) ° and (6.0±4.1) °, respectively, or less when using three projections; with six projections, results were slightly better. The mean registration error was better than 1 mm/6° compared to the measured seed projections. Each test trial converged in 10-20 iterations with computation time of 12-18 min/iteration on a 1 GHz processor. Conclusions: This work describes a novel, accurate, and completely automatic method for reconstructing seed orientations, as well as centroids, from a small number of radiographic projections, in support of intraoperative planning and adaptive replanning. Unlike standard back-projection methods, gIFPM avoids the need to match corresponding seed images on the projections. This algorithm also successfully reconstructs overlapping clustered and highly migrated seeds in the implant. The accuracy of better than 1 mm and 6° demonstrates that gIFPM has the potential to support 2D Task Group 43 calculations in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-486
Number of pages13
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • brachytherapy seed orientation
  • cone-beam CT
  • gIFPM
  • localization
  • x-ray projections


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