Consistent and invertible deformation vector fields for a breathing anthropomorphic phantom: a post-processing framework for the XCAT phantom.
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Breathing motion is challenging for radiotherapy planning and delivery. This requires advanced four-dimensional (4D) imaging and motion mitigation strategies and associated validation tools with known deformations. Numerical phantoms such as the XCAT provide reproducible and realistic data for simulation-based validation. However, the XCAT generates partially inconsistent and non-invertible deformations where tumours remain rigid and structures can move through each other. We address these limitations by post-processing the XCAT deformation vector fields (DVF) to generate a breathing phantom with realistic motion and quantifiable deformation. An open-source post-processing framework was developed that corrects and inverts the XCAT-DVFs while preserving sliding motion between organs. Those post-processed DVFs are used to warp the first XCAT-generated image to consecutive time points providing a 4D phantom with a tumour that moves consistently with the anatomy, the ability to scale lung density as well as consistent and invertible DVFs. For a regularly breathing case, the inverse consistency of the DVFs was verified and the tumour motion was compared to the original XCAT. The generated phantom and DVFs were used to validate a motion-including dose reconstruction (MIDR) method using isocenter shifts to emulate rigid motion. Differences between the reconstructed doses with and without lung density scaling were evaluated. The post-processing framework produced DVFs with a maximum [Formula: see text]-percentile inverse-consistency error of 0.02 mm. The generated phantom preserved the dominant sliding motion between the chest wall and inner organs. The tumour of the original XCAT phantom preserved its trajectory while deforming consistently with the underlying tissue. The MIDR was compared to the ground truth dose reconstruction illustrating its limitations. MIDR with and without lung density scaling resulted in small dose differences up to 1 Gy (prescription 54 Gy). The proposed open-source post-processing framework overcomes important limitations of the original XCAT phantom and makes it applicable to a wider range of validation applications within radiotherapy.
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Radiotherapy Physics Modelling
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Physics in medicine and biology, 2020, 65 (16), pp. 165005 - ?