Nowadays, patients with metallic implants undergoing radiotherapy may suffer from inaccuracy in the treatment plan caused by the implant. To ensure a precise plan an accurate relation between Hounsfield values of the computer tomographic (CT) images and the electron density of the elements and material mixtures is indispensable. In order to extend the stoichiometric calibration approach known for tissues to the regime of metallic materials, the basic physical equations as well as approximations in the parametrization and fitting are carefully reviewed. CT images of a standard calibration phantom and pure metallic samples up to the atomic number Z = 29 were acquired for various energies. Hounsfield values were determined on an extended Hounsfield scale which allows the mapping of material having high atomic number Z. It is found that from basic physics an empirical factorization of the cross-sections into a function of Z and a function of photon energy E is not allowed over a wide range of Z. Specifically, the parameterization for tissue like materials cannot be prolonged to materials with high-Z. Thus, the calibration is subdivided into regions of materials and its accuracy is quantified in each region. It depends, among others, on the knowledge of the X-ray photon spectra, the segmentation of the material samples and the empirical parameterization of the linear-attenuation coefficient.
© 2020 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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