We report on the operation and performance tests of a preclinical head scanner developed for proton computed tomography (pCT). After extensive preclinical testing, pCT is intended to be employed in support of proton therapy treatment planning and pre-treatment verification in patients undergoing particle-beam therapy. In order to assess the performance of the scanner, we have performed CT scans with 200Â MeV protons from both the synchrotron of the Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) and the cyclotron of the Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center (NMCPC). The very high sustained rate of data acquisition, exceeding one million protons per second, allowed a full 360Â° scan to be completed in less than 7Â min. The reconstruction of various phantoms verified accurate reconstruction of the proton relative stopping power (RSP) and the spatial resolution in a variety of materials. The dose for an image with better than 1% uncertainty in the RSP is found to be close to 1Â mGy.
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