Shading correction for cone-beam CT in radiotherapy: validation of dose calculation accuracy using clinical images

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cone-beam CT (CBCT) images are routinely acquired to verify patient position in radiotherapy (RT), but are typically not calibrated in Hounsfield Units (HU) and feature non-uniformity due to X-ray scatter and detector persistence effects. This prevents direct use of CBCT for re-calculation of RT delivered dose. We previously developed a prior-image based correction method to restore HU values and improve uniformity of CBCT images. Here we validate the accuracy with which corrected CBCT can be used for dosimetric assessment of RT delivery, using CBCT images and RT plans for 45 patients including pelvis, lung and head sites. Dose distributions were calculated based on each patient's original RT plan and using CBCT image values for tissue heterogeneity correction. Clinically relevant dose metrics were calculated (e.g. median and minimum target dose, maximum organ at risk dose). Accuracy of CBCT based dose metrics was determined using an "override ratio" method where the ratio of the dose metric to that calculated on a bulk-density assigned version of the image is assumed to be constant for each patient, allowing comparison to “gold standard” CT. For pelvis and head images the proportion of dose errors >2% was reduced from 40% to 1.3% after applying shading correction. For lung images the proportion of dose errors >3% was reduced from 66% to 2.2%. Application of shading correction to CBCT images greatly improves their utility for dosimetric assessment of RT delivery, allowing high confidence that CBCT dose calculations are accurate within 2-3%.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProc. SPIE 10132, Medical Imaging 2017: Physics of Medical Imaging
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2017