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Statistical limitations in proton imaging

Collins-Fekete, Charles-Antoine, Dikaios, Nikolaos, Royle, Gary and Evans, Philip M. (2020) Statistical limitations in proton imaging Physics in Medicine & Biology, 65 (8).

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Proton imaging is a promising technology for proton radiotherapy as it can be used for: (1) direct sampling of the tissue stopping power, (2) input information for multi-modality RSP reconstruction, (3) gold-standard calibration against concurrent techniques, (4) tracking motion and (5) pre-treatment positioning. However, no end-to-end characterization of the image quality (signal-to-noise ratio and spatial resolution, blurring uncertainty) against the dose has been done. This work aims to establish a model relating these characteristics and to describe their relationship with proton energy and object size. The imaging noise originates from two processes: the Coulomb scattering with the nucleus, producing a path deviation, and the energy loss straggling with electrons. The noise is found to increases with thickness crossed and, independently, decreases with decreasing energy. The scattering noise is dominant around high-gradient edge whereas the straggling noise is maximal in homogeneous regions. Image quality metrics are found to behave oppositely against energy: lower energy minimizes both the noise and the spatial resolution, with the optimal energy choice depending on the application and location in the imaged object. In conclusion, the model presented will help define an optimal usage of proton imaging to reach the promised application of this technology and establish a fair comparison with other imaging techniques.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Collins-Fekete, Charles-Antoine
Dikaios, Nikolaos
Royle, Gary
Evans, Philip
Date : 20 April 2020
Funders : Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, EPSRC
DOI : 10.1088/1361-6560/ab7972
Grant Title : Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords : proton imaging,proton radiography,proton CT,noise,dose,spatial resolution
Additional Information : Embargo OK Metadata OK No Further Action
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 24 Aug 2020 15:12
Last Modified : 24 Aug 2020 15:12

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