Purpose: To quantify volumetric and positional aliasing during non-gated fast- and slow-scan acquisition CT in the presence of 3D target motion. Methods: Single-slice fast, single-slice slow, and multi-slice fast scan helical CTs were acquired of dynamic spherical targets (1 and 3.15 cm in diameter), embedded in an anthropomorphic phantom. 3D target motions typical of clinically observed tumor motion parameters were investigated. Motion excursions included ± 5, ± 10, and ± 15 mm displacements in the S-I direction synchronized with constant displacements of ± 5 and ± 2 mm in the A-P and lateral directions, respectively. For each target, scan technique, and motion excursion, eight different initial motion-to-scan phase relationships were investigated. Results: An anticipated general trend of target volume overestimation was observed. The mean percentage overestimation of the true physical target volume typically increased with target motion amplitude and decreasing target diameter. Slow-scan percentage overestimations were larger, and better approximated the time-averaged motion envelope, as opposed to fast-scans. Motion induced centroid misrepresentation was greater in the S-I direction for fast-scan techniques, and transaxial direction for the slow-scan technique. Overestimation is fairly uniform for slice widths < 5 mm, beyond which there is gross overestimation. Conclusion: Non-gated CT imaging of targets describing clinically relevant, 3D motion results in aliased overestimation of the target volume and misrepresentation of centroid location, with little or no correlation between the physical target geometry and the CT-generated target geometry. Slow-scan techniques are a practical method for characterizing time-averaged target position. Fast-scan techniques provide a more reliable, albeit still distorted, target margin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging