Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Medical Physics

First Advisor

Geoffrey D. Hugo


A common co-pathology of large lung tumors located near the central airways is collapse of portions of lung due to blockage of airflow by the tumor. Not only does the lung volume decrease as collapse occurs, but fluid from capillaries also fills the space no longer occupied by air, greatly altering tissue appearance. During radiotherapy, typically administered to the patient over multiple weeks, the tumor can dramatically shrink in response to the treatment, restoring airflow to the lung sections which were collapsed when therapy began. While return of normal lung function is a positive development, the change in anatomy presents problems for future radiation sessions since the treatment was planned on lung geometry which is no longer accurate. The treatment must be adapted to the new lung state so that the radiation continues to accurately target the tumor while safely avoiding healthy tissue. However, to account for the dose delivered previously, correspondences of anatomy between the former image when the lung was collapsed and the re-expanded lung in a current image must be obtained. This process, known as deformable image registration, is performed by registration software. Most registration algorithms assume that identical anatomy is contained in the images and that intensities of corresponding image elements are similar; both assumptions are untrue when collapsed lung re-expands. This work was to develop an algorithm which accurately registers images in the presence of lung expansion. The lung registration method matched CT images of patients aided by vessel enhancement and information of individual lobe boundaries. The algorithm was tested on eighteen patients with lung collapse using physician-specified correspondences to measure registration error. The image registration algorithm developed in this work which was designed for challenging lung patients resulted in accuracy comparable to that of other methods when large lung changes are absent.


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