Ultrasound guided brachytherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer has become a routine treatment option, due to many benefits including patient recovery and dose localisation ; however it is not clear whether the standards which govern the image quality for these systems are adequate. Upon review of the recommended standards for ultrasound systems used in prostate brachytherapy procedures, the recommended tests do not appear to be specific to the clinical application of ultrasound guided prostate brachytherapy. Rather they are generic and similar to those recommended for other clinical applications such as general abdominal scanning . Furthermore, there is growing evidence that these tests should be specific to the clinical application [3,4] in order to gain meaningful data about the performance of the system for the application, and also to detect clinically relevant changes in quality control results. An additional problem is that there are no clinically relevant test phantom recommended for the quality assurance of ultrasound systems used in prostate brachytherapy. The image quality for this application of ultrasound needs to be monitored to ensure consistent levels of confidence in the procedure. This paper reviews the currently recommended test guidelines and test phantoms for ultrasound systems used in prostate brachytherapy from the different standard bodies and professional organisations. A critical analysis of those tests which are most reflective of the imaging and guidance tasks undertaken in an ultrasound guided prostate brachytherapy procedure will also be presented to inform the design of a TRUS quality assurance protocol.
- Image quality
- Quality assurance
- Test phantoms
- Trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Physics and Astronomy(all)