Dosimetric impact of image artifact from a wide-bore CT scanner in radiotherapy treatment planning

Vincent Wu, Matthew B. Podgorsak, Tuan Anh Tran, Harish K. Malhotra, Iris Z. Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Traditional computed tomography (CT) units provide a maximum scan field-of-view (sFOV) diameter of 50 cm and a limited bore size, which cannot accommodate a large patient habitus or an extended simulation setup in radiation therapy (RT). Wide-bore CT scanners with increased bore size were developed to address these needs. Some scanners have the capacity to reconstruct the CT images at an extended FOV (eFOV), through data interpolation or extrapolation, using projection data acquired with a conventional sFOV. Objects that extend past the sFOV for eFOV reconstruction may generate image artifacts resulting from truncated projection data; this may distort CT numbers and structure contours in the region beyond the sFOV. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dosimetric impact of image artifacts from eFOV reconstruction with a wide-bore CT scanner in radiotherapy (RT) treatment planning. Methods: Testing phantoms (i.e., a mini CT phantom with equivalent tissue inserts, a set of CT normal phantoms and anthropomorphic phantoms of the thorax and the pelvis) were used to evaluate eFOV artifacts. Reference baseline images of these phantoms were acquired with the phantom centrally positioned within the sFOV. For comparison, the phantoms were then shifted laterally and scanned partially outside the sFOV, but still within the eFOV. Treatment plans were generated for the thoracic and pelvic anthropomorphic phantoms utilizing the Eclipse™ treatment planning system (TPS) to study the potential effects of eFOV artifacts on dose calculations. All dose calculations of baseline and test treatment plans were carried out using the same MU. Results: Results show that both body contour and CT numbers are altered by image artifacts in eFOV reconstruction. CT number distortions of up to -356 HU for bone tissue and up to 323 HU for lung tissue were observed in the mini CT phantom. Results from the large body normal phantom, which is close to a clinical patient size, show average CT number changes of up to -49 HU. Wider distribution (i.e., standard deviation) of the HU values was seen when the phantom was placed at more than 2.8 cm beyond the 50 cm sFOV. Anthropomorphic phantom studies with several standard beam configurations show that body contour distortion causes tumor dose calculation reduction of 3.0 and 1.9% for 6 and 23 MV x-rays, respectively, when not accounting for tissue heterogeneities during dose computation. When heterogeneity correction is used in planning, the competing effects of the body contour distortion and the CT number distortion cause a smaller error in tumor dose calculation. Less than 0.9% error in calculated dose was observed in volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment plans. Conclusions: The image artifacts from eFOV reconstruction alter the CT numbers and body contours of the imaged objects, which has the potential to produce inaccuracies in dose calculations during radiotherapy treatment planning. The radiation therapy team should be aware of these image artifacts and their effects on target dose calculations during CT simulation as well as treatment planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4451-4463
Number of pages13
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • dose calculation inaccuracy
  • extended FOV
  • image artifact
  • treatment planning
  • wide-bore CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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