The aim of this study is to evaluate the tracking accuracy of a commercial ultrasound system under relevant treatment conditions and demonstrate its clinical utility for detecting significant treatment deviations arising from inadvertent intrafractional target motion.Methods:
A multimodality male pelvic phantom was used to simulate prostate image-guided radiotherapy with the system under evaluation. Target motion was simulated by placing the phantom on a motion platform. The tracking accuracy of the ultrasound system was evaluated using an independent optical tracking system under the conditions of beam-on, beam-off, poor image quality with an acoustic shadow introduced, and different phantom motion cycles. The time delay between the ultrasound-detected and actual phantom motion was investigated. A clinical case example of prostate treatment is presented as a demonstration of the utility of the system in practice.Results:
Time delay between the motion phantom and ultrasound tracking system is 223 ± 45.2 milliseconds including video and optical tracking system frame rates. The tracking accuracy and precision were better with a longer period. The precision of ultrasound tracking performance in the axial (superior–inferior) direction was better than that in the lateral (left–right) direction (root mean square errors are 0.18 and 0.25 mm, respectively). The accuracy of ultrasound tracking performance in the lateral direction was better than that in the axial direction (the mean position errors are 0.23 and 0.45 mm, respectively). Interference by radiation and image quality do not affect tracking ability significantly. Further, utilizing the tracking system as part of a clinical study for prostate treatment further verified the accuracy and clinical appropriateness.Conclusions:
It is feasible to use transperineal ultrasound daily to monitor prostate motion during treatment. Our results verify the accuracy and precision of an ultrasound system under typical external beam treatment conditions and further demonstrate that the tracking system was able to identify important prostate shifts in a clinical case.