Robust breathing signal extraction from cone beam CT projections based on adaptive and global optimization techniques

Ming Chao, Jie Wei, Tianfang Li, Yading Yuan, Kenneth E. Rosenzweig, Yeh Chi Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present a study of extracting respiratory signals from cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) projections within the framework of the Amsterdam Shroud (AS) technique. Acquired prior to the radiotherapy treatment, CBCT projections were preprocessed for contrast enhancement by converting the original intensity images to attenuation images with which the AS image was created. An adaptive robust z-normalization filtering was applied to further augment the weak oscillating structures locally. From the enhanced AS image, the respiratory signal was extracted using a two-step optimization approach to effectively reveal the large-scale regularity of the breathing signals. CBCT projection images from five patients acquired with the Varian Onboard Imager on the Clinac iX System Linear Accelerator (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) were employed to assess the proposed technique. Stable breathing signals can be reliably extracted using the proposed algorithm. Reference waveforms obtained using an air bellows belt (Philips Medical Systems, Cleveland, OH) were exported and compared to those with the AS based signals. The average errors for the enrolled patients between the estimated breath per minute (bpm) and the reference waveform bpm can be as low as -0.07 with the standard deviation 1.58. The new algorithm outperformed the original AS technique for all patients by 8.5% to 30%. The impact of gantry rotation on the breathing signal was assessed with data acquired with a Quasar phantom (Modus Medical Devices Inc., London, Canada) and found to be minimal on the signal frequency. The new technique developed in this work will provide a practical solution to rendering markerless breathing signal using the CBCT projections for thoracic and abdominal patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3109-3126
Number of pages18
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • breathing signal
  • cone beam CT projection
  • radiation therapy


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