Volumes change during fractionated radiotherapy (RT). We investigate a tool based on the Hierarchical Enhanced Registration Algorithm (HERA) to project a 3D segmentation set of the prostate into the subsequent imaging sets at any time point during RT by using intensity-based image registration techniques. Sequential CT sets during RT at 15, 30, 45, and 60 Gy of two patients were used. Five expert clinicians outlined the prostate in a blinded fashion, defining intraobserver and interobserver variability on a set of 35 and 25 scans, respectively. The observer variability and positioning for manual correction was compared to both affine and elastic image registration-based contour propagation. The overall mean error of the registration-based correction of the planning target volume was comparable to the interobserver variability of manual target volume definition. The correction by affine image fusion was inferior to the results of elastic registration. The maximal deviation for the interobserver segmentation was 15.4 mm, 10.5 mm for the affine and 8.0 mm for the elastic registration. The mean interobserver variability was Symbol for the affine, and Symbol for the elastic registration. Intensity-based elastic registration of deformable anatomical structures with HERA is suitable for the assessment of changes of prostate volumes for the purpose of target propagation and adaptive radiotherapy.
PACS number: 87.57.nj