This paper characterizes the performance of the straight-line path (SLP) and cubic spline path (CSP) as path estimates used in reconstruction of proton computed tomography (pCT). The GEANT4 Monte Carlo simulation toolkit is employed to simulate the imaging phantom and proton projections. SLP, CSP and the most-probable path (MPP) are constructed based on the entrance and exit information of each proton. The physical deviations of SLP, CSP and MPP from the real path are calculated. Using a conditional proton path probability map, the relative probability of SLP, CSP and MPP are calculated and compared. The depth dose and Bragg peak are predicted on the pCT images reconstructed using SLP, CSP, and MPP and compared with the simulation result. The root-mean-square physical deviations and the cumulative distribution of the physical deviations show that the performance of CSP is comparable to MPP while SLP is slightly inferior. About 90% of the SLP pixels and 99% of the CSP pixels lie in the 99% relative probability envelope of the MPP. Even at an imaging dose of ∼0.1 mGy the proton Bragg peak for a given incoming energy can be predicted on the pCT image reconstructed using SLP, CSP, or MPP with 1 mm accuracy. This study shows that SLP and CSP, like MPP, are adequate path estimates for pCT reconstruction, and therefore can be chosen as the path estimation method for pCT reconstruction, which can aid the treatment planning and range prediction of proton radiation therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging