Purpose: Recent clinical trials and animal studies have indicated that the tissue sensitivity to radiation induced lung injury (RILI) may be region‐ specific. In this study, we propose a new 4D cone beam CT (CBCT) basedcompliance imaging method to measure regional pulmonary function change in precisely irradiated small animal under CBCT guidance on small animal radiation research platform (SARRP) to facilitate our understanding of region‐specific tissue sensitivity to RILI. Methods: Four Sprague‐Dawley rats underwent prospective pressure gated 4D CBCT on SARRP. Three animals were selected as control group which underwent a second 4D CBCT scan. The fourth animal was irradiated in the central lung (24 Gy) using 3 × 3 mm collimating cone 2 months prior to the scan. The specific compliance (Csp) was calculated via the real time pressure measurement from the ventilator and displacement field from 3D B‐spline image registration between the end of inhale and end of exhale phases from the 4D CBCT scan. The 3D Csp maps from the control animal group were mapped to the irradiated animal as a Csp functional atlas for statistical analysis. We alsoevaluated the repeatability of the Csp measurement on a voxel‐by‐voxel basis. Results: No significant Csp difference is found after two month of radiation between the irradiated rat (0.22±0.05) and the functional atlas (0.21±0.07). The observation is consistent with previous publications. The averaged linear correlation coefficient between the voxel‐by‐voxel Csp measurements from initial and repeat scans in control group is 0.98.Conclusions: We proposed a method that uses 4D CBCT based compliance imaging to measure region‐specific tissue sensitivity of RILI. We compared the irradiated animal two months after radiation with the control group. Our study shows an excellent robustness of the proposed method for regional lung tissue specific compliance measurement. This work was supported in part by UVa George Amorino Pilot Grant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging