Evaluation of Deformable Image Registration-Based Contour Propagation From Planning CT to Cone-Beam CT

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Purpose:We evaluated the performance of organ contour propagation from a planning computed tomography to cone-beam computed tomography with deformable image registration by comparing contours to manual contouring.Materials and Methods:Sixteen patients were retrospectively identified based on showing considerable physical change throughout the course of treatment. Multiple organs in the 3 regions (head and neck, prostate, and pancreas) were evaluated. A cone-beam computed tomography from the end of treatment was registered to the planning computed tomography using rigid registration, followed by deformable image registration. The contours were copied on cone-beam computed tomography image sets using rigid registration and modified by 2 radiation oncologists. Contours were compared using Dice similarity coefficient, mean surface distance, and Hausdorff distance.Results:The mean physician-to-physician Dice similarity coefficient for all organs was 0.90. When compared to each physician’s contours, the overall mean for rigid was 0.76 (P < .001), and it was improved to 0.79 (P < .001) for deformable image registration. Comparing deformable image registration to physicians resulted in a mean Dice similarity coefficient of 0.77, 0.74, and 0.84 for head and neck, prostate, and pancreas groups, respectively; whereas, the physician-to-physician mean agreement for these sites was 0.87, 0.90, and 0.93 (P < .001, for all sites). The mean surface distance for physician-to-physician contours was 1.01 mm, compared to 2.58 mm for rigid-to-physician contours and 2.24 mm for deformable image registration-to-physician contours. The mean physician-to-physician Hausdorff distance was 11.32 mm, and when compared to any physician’s contours, the mean for rigid and deformable image registration was 12.1 mm and 12.0 mm (P < .001), respectively.Conclusion:The physicians had a high level of agreement via the 3 metrics; however, deformable image registration fell short of this level of agreement. The automatic workflows using deformable image registration to deform contours to cone-beam computed tomography to evaluate the changes during treatment should be used with caution.

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