Objective: The present study aimed to determine the qualitative and quantitative accuracy of the Q.Freeze algorithm in PET/CT images of liver tumors. Methods: A body phantom and hot spheres representing liver tumors contained 5.3 and 21.2 kBq/mL of a solution containing 18F radioactivity, respectively. The phantoms were moved in the superior-inferior direction at a motion displacement of 20 mm. Conventional respiratory-gated (RG) and Q.Freeze images were sorted into 6, 10, and 13 phase-groups. The SUVave was calculated from the background of the body phantom, and the SUVmax was determined from the hot spheres of the liver tumors. Three patients with four liver tumors were also clinically assessed by whole-body and RG PET. The RG and Q.Freeze images derived from the clinical study were also sorted into 6, 10 and 13 phase-groups. Liver signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and SUVmax were determined from the RG and Q.Freeze clinical images. Results: The SUVave of Q.Freeze images was the same as those derived from the body phantom using RG. The liver SNR improved with Q.Freeze, and the SUVsmax was not overestimated when Q.Freeze was applied in both the phantom and clinical studies. Q.Freeze did not degrade the liver SNR and SUVmax even though the phase number was larger. Conclusions: Q.Freeze delivered qualitative and quantitative motion correction than conventional RG imaging even in 10-phase groups.
Background: Though the dosimetric criteria for the gastrointestinal tract were met, late gastrointestinal toxicity was seen in several cases. Therefore, we thought that it was caused by the positional variation of gastrointestine surrounding pancreatic cancer because of peristalsis. Method: They were confirmed by CT image regularly. And we evaluated that how much the difference of matching methods for correcting the positional variation influenced dose distribution. Result: The fiducial markers could follow the position of pancreatic cancer and the duodenum. But it could reproduce the dose distribution to pancreatic cancer and the duodenum. Discussion: In proton therapy, the reproducible improvement of the duodenum position did not make the dose of the duodenum same as planning dose because the matching of fiducial markers made the positional relations between beam compensator and the duodenum change. Conclusion: The fiducial markers are useful for correcting the position of pancreatic cancer and the duodenum. But in proton therapy, it could not reproduce the dose distribution to pancreatic cancer and the duodenum.
Background and purpose: Recently, the number of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing, and some of them progresses to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Dual energy CT allows the discrimination of substance using monochromatic image (MI), and steatosis exhibit specifically the CT value of each energy level. The purpose is to evaluate the fat quantification in the liver using spectral HU curve and CT value compare to a conventional image diagnosis. Methods: Dual energy CT and liver biopsy were performed in 54 patients between October 2014 and April 2016. The CT value of 40 keV MI was measured by spectral HU curve setting 3 points ROI on the right and left liver. The CT value of 40 keV MI was compared with steatosis area and the NAFLD activity score (NAS). Additionally, steatosis area was compared with the conventional CT value scan and hepatorenal echo contrast value. Results and discussion: The CT value of 40 keV MI exhibited a negative correlation for the stenosis area (R2=0.619), and NAS (R2=0.147). Steatosis area exhibited correlation for the conventional CT value (R2=0.407), and hepatorenal echo contrast (R2=0.135). This study suggests that the evaluation of the fat quantification in the liver using the spectral HU curve and CT value improved in comparison to the conventional image diagnosis.
We report on the methods and experiences of the dual-phase cone beam computed tomography during hepatic arteriography (CBCTHA) to apply the 3D-DSA. A total of 32 ml contrast medium (150 mgI/ml) was injected at the rate of 2.0 ml/s for 16 s. The early phase scan was initiated 10 s after the start of contrast media injection. The delayed phase scan was started 40 s after that (24 s after the end of CM injection). When using the dual phase CBCTHA, it was able to obtain the classical hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) images same as computed tomography during hepatic arteriography (CTHA). In the early phase, the tumor can be highly enhanced against the liver parenchyma. In delayed phase, corona enhancement was clearly appeared at the liver parenchyma. Of 58 cases of acquisitions, we experienced six cases with miss breath holding and 14 cases with over the field of view (FOV) due to hepatomegaly. We evaluated the tumor contrast in 18 cases because the other 40 cases were not applied to our criteria. The pixel values of ROIs on the tumor, coronal enhancement, and liver parenchyma were measured, respectively. Then, we calculated tumor-parenchyma contrast (T-P contrast), corona-tumor contrast (C-T contrast), and corona-parenchyma contrast (C-P contrast). The T-P contrast was 358±112, the C-T contrast was 132±51, and the C-P contrast was 168±66. The contrast was clearly visualized among them. The dual-phase CBCTHA that applies the 3D-DSA is a simple and useful technique for hepatocellular carcinoma treatment.
Preoperative three-dimensional computed tomography (3DCT) of the liver is the most important examination in performing preoperative simulation. Detailed visualization of the portal vein using the workstation is critical to enable accurate liver segmentation. However, the timing of imaging in the portal venous phase has mostly been reported equivalent to that of the liver screening examinations commonly performed. The purpose of this study was to examine the optimal timing of image capture to create the best portal vein visualization in preoperative 3DCT of the liver. Seventy-nine patients who underwent hepatectomy for malignant liver tumors were enrolled in this study. All patients were preoperatively examined using protocol A (imaging method separated into a portal venous phase and a hepatic venous phase) and then examined 1 week after surgery using protocol B (normal liver screening protocol). We first established the regions of interest in the portal vein and the hepatic vein and then compared CT values for these regions under protocol A and protocol B. The average CT value of the portal vein in protocol A and B was 239.8±28.1 HU and 202.2±18.5 HU, respectively. The average CT value of the portal vein in protocol A was significantly higher compared with protocol B (p<0.01). By introducing separate timing for portal venous phase imaging before preoperative 3DCT (protocol A), it is possible to satisfactorily depict the portal vein.
The aim of this study was to compare true-steady state free precession (True-SSFP) with fast field echo (FFE) as readout imaging sequences for renal arterial spin labeling (ASL), and to optimize the imaging condition. Renal ASL perfusion images were acquired using signal targeting with alternated radio frequency using asymmetric inversion slab (ASTAR) technique with respiratory triggering at 3T MRI system, using either 3D True-SSFP or FFE as the readout sequence. Inversion time (TI) varied from 800 to 2400 ms. Appropriate flip angles were estimated for each sequence by simulating signal intensity (SI). The SI of the renal cortex, vertebral body, and intestinal tract were measured, and the contrast ratio of the cortex (CRcortex) or intestine (CRintestine) related to vertebra was calculated. The image quality of the kidneys, background signal suppression, and misregistration were evaluated by four-point scales. As a result, in quantitative evaluation, the average of CRcortex of each TI (800, 1200, 1600, 2000, and 2400 msec) were 0.49, 0.57, 0.63, 0.63, and 0.56 in FFE, and 0.59, 0.71, 0.73, 0.73, and 0.68 in True-SSFP, respectively. IN qualitative evaluation, ASL images with True-SSFP readout were significantly better than those with FFE readout. In conclusion, True-SSFP sequences will be recommended as read out imaging sequence for obtaining ASL image compared with FFE image.
With the recent spread of three tesla (3 T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), time-spatial labeling inversion pulse (Time-SLIP) technique at high magnetic field can be used. The purpose of this study was to determine appropriate renal artery imaging parameters and to compare with the 1.5 T MRI image quality of a renal artery using the Time-SLIP technique. The imaging sequence was 3D true steady-state free precession (True SSFP), and using respiratory gated by the voice instructions of breath interval 2, 4, 6 seconds. We measured the fat signals when changing the values of short TI inversion recovery (STIR TI), the renal artery and renal parenchyma signals when changing the values of black blood time interval (BBTI), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between renal artery and background in 11 healthy volunteers. Visual evaluation using a 4-stage score at renal artery in clinical cases was performed. 3 T MRI is compared with a 1.5 T MRI, and the null point of STIR TI value is 60 ms extension, null point of BBTI value in the renal parenchyma was an extension of 250 ms in any of the breath interval. In flow effect, there is no difference in the 1.5 T MRI and 3 T MRI, peaked at BBTI value 1500 ms. CNR and visual evaluation were better than 3 T MRI. 3 T MRI showed a better image quality by the background signal suppression effect of the extension of the T1 value.
We compared the uniformity of fat-suppression and image quality using three-dimensional fat-suppressed T1-weighted gradient-echo sequences that are liver acquisition with volume acceleration (LAVA) and Turbo-LAVA at 3.0T-MRI. The subjects were seven patients with liver disease (mean age, 66.7±8.2 years). The axial slices of two LAVA sequences were used for the comparison of the uniformity of fat-suppression and image quality at a region-of-interest (ROI) of the liver dome, the porta, and the renal hilum. To yield a quantitative measurement of the uniformity of fat suppression, the percentage standard deviation (%SD) was calculated by comparing two sequences. For image signal to noise ratio (SNR), the contrast between the liver and fat (Cliver-fat), and the liver and muscle (Cliver-muscle), the other ROIs were placed in the superficial fat, liver, spleen, pancreas, and muscle. The %SD in Turbo-LAVA (28.1±16.8%) was lower than that in LAVA (41.5±13.4%). The SNRs in Turbo-LAVA (17.8±4.1 [liver], 12.5±3.0 [pancreas], 14.7±1.6 [spleen], 8.2±3.5 [fat]) were lower than those in LAVA (20.9±6.1 [liver], 16.8±4.1 [pancreas], 17.4±2.4 [spleen], 12.0±4.5 [fat]). While, the Cliver-fat in the Turbo-LAVA (0.72±0.06) was significantly higher than that in LAVA (0.59±0.07). Turbo-LAVA sequence offers superior and more homogenous fat-suppression in comparison to LAVA sequence.
Purpose: Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is capable of acquiring projection images using electronic portal imaging device (EPID). Commercial EPID-based dosimetry software, dosimetry check (DC), allows in vivo dosimetry using projection images. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in vivo dosimetry for prostate cancer using VMAT. Method: VMAT plans were generated for eight patients with prostate cancer using treatment planning system (TPS), and patient quality assurances (QAs) were carried out with phantom. We analyzed five plans as phantom study and five plans as patient study. Projection images were acquired during VMAT delivery. DC converted acquired images into fluence images and used a pencil beam algorithm to calculate dose distributions delivered on the CT images of the phantom and the patients. We evaluated isocenter point doses and gamma analysis in both studies and dose indexes of planning target volume (PTV), bladder and rectum in patient study. Results and discussion: Dose differences at the isocenter were less than a criterion in both studies. Pass rates of the gamma analysis were less than a criterion by two plans in the phantom study. Dose indexes of reconstructed distribution were lower than original plans and standard deviations of PTV in reconstructed distribution were larger than original plans. The errors were caused by some issues, such as the commissioning of DC, variations in patient anatomy, and patient positioning. Conclusion: The method was feasible to non-invasively perform in vivo dose evaluation for prostate cancer using VMAT.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the dose reduction and the image quality using bismuth sheets during the computed tomography fluoroscopy (CTF). Materials and Methods: The bismuth sheets of 1-mm thick were put on the upper mylar ring to reduce the frontal X-ray. The dose rates of an operator were measured using a torso phantom in the patient position during the CTF. The torso phantom was set on the gantry rotation center (center) and the lower position from the center (off-center). The image quality of the CTF image was assessed using an original phantom that mimics the normal liver parenchyma and the low attenuation lesions. The image contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were compared with and without the bismuth sheets. Results: The bismuth sheets reduced the dose rate of the operator, regardless of whether the torso phantom was set at the center or the off-center. The reduction rate of exposure at the center and the off-center were 42.3% and 34.5%, respectively. There were no significant differences in the image contrast and the CNR, although the bismuth sheets increased the CT values of the liver parenchyma and the low attenuation lesions. Conclusion: The bismuth sheets were effective for the reduction of exposure to the operator without degrading the image quality of CTF images.
The purpose of this study was to understand the scatter radiation distribution during C-arm CT examination in the interventional radiography (IVR) room to show the escaped area and the radiation protective method. The C-arm rotates 200° in 5 s. The tube voltage was 90 kV, and the entrance dose to the detector was 0.36 μGy/frame during C-arm CT examination. The scattered doses were measured each 50 cm from the isocenter like a grid pattern. The heights of the measurement were 50, 100, and 150 cm from the floor. The maximum scattered doses were 38.23±0.60 μGy at 50 cm, 43.86±0.20 μGy at 100 cm, and 25.78±0.37 μGy at 150 cm. The scatter radiation distribution at 100 cm was the highest scattered dose. The operator should protect their reproductive gland, thyroid, and lens. The scattered dose was low behind the C-arm body and the bed, so they will be able to become the escaped area for staff.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of pelvic rotational setup error on lymph nodal dose in the whole pelvic intensity-modulated radiation therapy using the fiducial marker. Methods: The dose differences of clinical target volume for pelvic lymph node (CTVLN) due to isocenter (IC) shift and pelvic rotation were evaluated using the radiation treatment planning system. The rotated computed tomography (CT) images were created for the simulation of the pelvic rotation. The original CT images were rotated around the IC of the original plan in the pitch and roll directions up to±3.0 deg. at 1.0 deg. intervals. As simulated plans, IC positions were shifted in the anterior-posterior and superior-inferior directions up to±10 mm at 2 mm intervals in the original and rotated CT images, and the dose distributions were calculated. The dose calculation was performed for each CT image while keeping the movement of multi leaf collimator and the monitor unit of the original plan. The differences between D98% of CTVLN in the original plan and simulated plans were calculated. Results: In the posterior direction shifts of 4, 6, 8, and 10 mm, the dose reduction of 0.7, 2.1, 6.1, and 11.9% from the original plan were found for D98% of CTVLN, respectively. The dose reductions due to the rotation of pitch direction were greater than the rotation of roll direction. In the posterior direction shifts of 4, 6, 8, and 10 mm with 3.0 deg. rotation of pitch direction, the dose reduction of 2.2, 6.8, 12.8, and 19.0% from the original plan were found, respectively. Conclusion: The dose reduction of CTVLN might be occurred due to the rotational setup error of pitch direction.
This study investigated the image quality using controlled aliasing in parallel imaging results in higher acceleration (CAIPIRINHA) to shorten the imaging time in dynamic abdominal examinations. Comparisons with the conventional generalized autocalibrating partially parallel acquisitions (GRAPPA) method were made by changing the sampling shift in CAIPIRINHA using a 3.0 T MRI. The measurements included the visual evaluation of five stages, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in phantom experiments. The visual evaluation (five stages) and SNR were determined using a nickel sulfate bottle phantom attached to the MRI device. Each evaluation was performed on the middle slice of the 3D image. The SNR was compared with the mean region of interest value calculated from five locations within the phantom. The CNR was determined using custommade phantoms that mimic the T1 and T2 values of the liver and spleen. In the results, at reduction factor (Rf) = 6 and 8, the SNR per unit imaging time was reduced with GRAPPA, while there was no decrease in SNR and CNR with CAIPIRINHA. By performing imaging using an appropriate sampling shift, it is possible to acquire an equivalent GRAPPA in a short period of time using CAIPIRINHA.
During the arterial phase acquisition of Gd-EOB-DTPA examinations, use of a small volume of the Gd-EOB-DTPA may make it difficult the encoding center of the k-space, and produce blurring. The previous studies revealed the encoding technique of the k-space was one of the most important reasons. However, there is no report to discuss the reasons with quantitative evaluations. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the characteristics of the artifacts using different k-space encoding techniques (centric-view ordering (CVO) and sequential-view ordering (SVO)) for liver dynamic MRI in computer simulation study. This simulation study consists of the following steps. First of all, the creation of a time intensity curve, and original simulation images at certain points among the one phase dynamic scanning. Secondly, creation-simulated MR echo data from the created original images using FFT, and encoding simulated k-space using the simulated MR echo data. Finally, a reconstruction of simulated dynamic MR images from the simulated k-space, and to evaluate each simulated MR images, we measured modulation transfer functions (MTFs) from the bar patterns of the reconstructed images. The results of the CVO simulation indicated that the bar patterns were blurring compared to the images encoded by the SVO. The results of the SVO simulation indicated that the bar patterns were not enhanced at late scan timings. In addition, the results of MTFs indicated that there was no edge enhancement at all scan timings and both encoding techniques. In conclusion, it is possible to quantitatively evaluate the characteristics of artifacts using MTF, which was measured by the bar patterns, in liver dynamic MRI.