Automatic registration of megavoltage to kilovoltage CT images in helical tomotherapy: An evaluation of the setup verification process for the special case of a rigid head phantom

Sarah Boswell, Wolfgang Tomé, Robert Jeraj, Hazim Jaradat, T. Rock Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Precise daily target localization is necessary to achieve highly conformal radiation delivery. In helical tomotherapy, setup verification may be accomplished just prior to delivering each fraction by acquiring a megavoltage CT scan of the patient in the treatment position. This daily image set may be manually or automatically registered to the image set on which the treatment plan was calculated, in order to determine any needed adjustments. The system was tested by acquiring 104 MVCT scans of an anthropomorphic head phantom to which translational displacements had been introduced with respect to the planning image set. Registration results were compared against an independent, optically guided positioning system. The total experimental uncertainty was within approximately 1 mm. Although the registration of phantom images is not fully analogous to the registration of patient images, this study confirms that the system is capable of phantom localization with sub-voxel accuracy. In seven registration problems considered, expert human observers were able to perform manual registrations with comparable or inferior accuracy to automatic registration by mutual information. The time to compute an automatic registration is considerably shorter than the time required for manual registration. However, human evaluation of automatic results is necessary in order to identify occasional outliers, and to ensure that the registration is clinically acceptable, especially in the case of deformable patient anatomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4395-4404
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Helical tomotherapy
  • Image registration
  • MVCT
  • Optical tracking
  • Setup verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this