Background: Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) allows for patient setup and positioning, and potentially dose verification or adaptive replanning prior to each treatment delivery. Poor CBCT image quality due to scatter artifacts and patient motion has been a major limiting factor. A new image reconstruction algorithm was recently clinically implemented for improving image quality through iterative reconstruction (iCBCT). Purpose: This study aims to characterize iCBCT image quality, establish image value (HU)-to-relative electron density (RED) calibration curves for dose calculation, and assess the dosimetric accuracy for different anatomical sites. Material and methods: Both conventional CBCT and iCBCT scans were acquired from a Varian TrueBeam On-Board Imager system. A Catphan 604 phantom was scanned to compare image quality between the traditional Feldkamp–Davis–Kress (FDK) and novel iterative reconstruction techniques. Computerized Imaging Reference Systems (CIRS) electron density phantom was used to construct site-specific HU-RED curves corresponding to various scan settings. The CIRS Dynamic Thorax phantom, Rando pelvis phantom, and BrainLab head phantom were used for assessing dosimetric accuracy calculated on iCBCT images, compared to that on traditional FDK-based CBCT images. All phantoms were scanned on a computed tomography (CT) to obtain baseline HU values for comparison. Results: Test results obtained from Catphan showed statistically significant improvement with iCBCT, compared to FDK CBCT. Average HU differences from the baseline CT values were improved to within ±30 HU for iCBCT, compared to FDK CBCT for phantom studies. Dose calculated on iCBCT for both phantoms and patient cases directly using baseline HU-RED calibration from CT showed 0.5%–2.0% accuracy from the baseline dose calculated on CT, which is comparable to doses calculated using site-specific HU-RED calibration curves. Conclusion: iCBCT provides improved image quality, improved HU accuracy compared to CT baseline, and has potential to provide online dose verification as part of the adaptive radiotherapy workflow directly using the baseline HU-RED calibration curve from CT.
- adaptive radiotherapy
- dose verification and tracking
- image contrast resolution
- iterative reconstructed cone beam CT