Markerless positional verification using template matching and triangulation of kV images acquired during irradiation for lung tumors treated in breath-hold

Colien Hazelaar, Max Dahele, Hassan Mostafavi, Lineke van der Weide, Ben Slotman, Wilko Verbakel

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Lung tumors treated in breath-hold are subject to inter- and intra-breath-hold variations, which makes tumor position monitoring during each breath-hold important. A markerless technique is desirable, but limited tumor visibility on kV images makes this challenging. We evaluated if template matching + triangulation of kV projection images acquired during breath-hold stereotactic treatments could determine 3D tumor position. Band-pass filtering and/or digital tomosynthesis (DTS) were used as image pre-filtering/enhancement techniques. On-board kV images continuously acquired during volumetric modulated arc irradiation of (i) a 3D-printed anthropomorphic thorax phantom with three lung tumors (n = 6 stationary datasets, n = 2 gradually moving), and (ii) four patients (13 datasets) were analyzed. 2D reference templates (filtered DRRs) were created from planning CT data. Normalized cross-correlation was used for 2D matching between templates and pre-filtered/enhanced kV images. For 3D verification, each registration was triangulated with multiple previous registrations. Generally applicable image processing/algorithm settings for lung tumors in breath-hold were identified. For the stationary phantom, the interquartile range of the 3D position vector was on average 0.25 mm for 12° DTS + band-pass filtering (average detected positions in 2D = 99.7%, 3D = 96.1%, and 3D excluding first 12° due to triangulation angle = 99.9%) compared to 0.81 mm for band-pass filtering only (55.8/52.9/55.0%). For the moving phantom, RMS errors for the lateral/longitudinal/vertical direction after 12° DTS + band-pass filtering were 1.5/0.4/1.1 mm and 2.2/0.3/3.2 mm. For the clinical data, 2D position was determined for at least 93% of each dataset and 3D position excluding first 12° for at least 82% of each dataset using 12° DTS + band-pass filtering. Template matching + triangulation using DTS + band-pass filtered images could accurately determine the position of stationary lung tumors. However, triangulation was less accurate/reliable for targets with continuous, gradual displacement in the lateral and vertical directions. This technique is therefore currently most suited to detect/monitor offsets occurring between initial setup and the start of treatment, inter-breath-hold variations, and tumors with predominantly longitudinal motion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115005
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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