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  • Author: Igor Miklavčić x
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Introduction. Electroporation-based treatments rely on increasing the permeability of the cell membrane by high voltage electric pulses delivered to tissue via electrodes. To ensure that the whole tumor is covered by the sufficiently high electric field, accurate numerical models are built based on individual patient geometry. For the purpose of reconstruction of hepatic vessels from MRI images we searched for an optimal segmentation method that would meet the following initial criteria: identify major hepatic vessels, be robust and work with minimal user input.

Materials and methods. We tested the approaches based on vessel enhancement filtering, thresholding, and their combination in local thresholding. The methods were evaluated on a phantom and clinical data. Results.

Results show that thresholding based on variance minimization provides less error than the one based on entropy maximization. Best results were achieved by performing local thresholding of the original de-biased image in the regions of interest which were determined through previous vessel-enhancement filtering. In evaluation on clinical cases the proposed method scored in average sensitivity of 93.68%, average symmetric surface distance of 0.89 mm and Hausdorff distance of 4.04 mm.

Conclusions. The proposed method to segment hepatic vessels from MRI images based on local thresholding meets all the initial criteria set at the beginning of the study and necessary to be used in treatment planning of electroporation- based treatments: it identifies the major vessels, provides results with consistent accuracy and works completely automatically. Whether the achieved accuracy is acceptable or not for treatment planning models remains to be verified through numerical modeling of effects of the segmentation error on the distribution of the electric field.

A neutron track etch detector for electron linear accelerators in radiotherapy

Background. Electron linear accelerators in medical radiotherapy have replaced cobalt and caesium sources of radiation. However, medical accelerators with photon energies over 10 MeV generate undesired fast neutron contamination in a therapeutic X-ray photon beam. Photons with energies above 10 MeV can interact with the atomic nucleus of a high-Z material, of which the target and the head of an accelerator consist, and lead to the neutron ejection.

Results and conclusions. Our neutron dosimeter, composed of the LR-115 track etch detector and boron foil BN-1 converter, was calibrated on thermal neutrons generated in the nuclear reactor of the Josef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), and applied to dosimetry of undesirable neutrons in photon radiotherapy by the linear accelerator 15 MV Siemens Mevatron. Having considered a high dependence of a cross-section between neutron and boron on neutron energy, and broad neutron spectrum in a photon beam, as well as outside the entrance door to maze of the Mevatron, we developed a method for determining the effective neutron detector response. A neutron dose rate in the photon beam was measured to be 1.96 Sv/h. Outside the Mevatron room the neutron dose rate was 0.62 μSv/h. PACS: 87.52. Ga; 87.53.St; 29.40.Wk.


For years, the town of Slavonski Brod in Croatia has been facing serious problems with air pollution, which is usually attributed to an oil refinery across the Sava River in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the air quality is being monitored rigorously with regard to nonradioactive matter, no attention has been paid to the possibility of a coincidental radioactive pollution. This study is the first to have addressed this issue. We measured ambient dose rate equivalents at 150 sites and found that none exceeded 120 nSv h-1, while the average was 80 nSv h-1. Gamma-ray spectrometry of the collected river water and soil samples did not reveal any unusual radioactivity either. In other words, we have found no evidence of radioactive pollution that would endanger the health of the residents of Slavonski Brod.