Synthetic 4D-CT of the thorax for treatment plan adaptation on MR-guided radiotherapy systems.
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MR-guided radiotherapy treatment planning utilises the high soft-tissue contrast of MRI to reduce uncertainty in delineation of the target and organs at risk. Replacing 4D-CT with MRI-derived synthetic 4D-CT would support treatment plan adaptation on hybrid MR-guided radiotherapy systems for inter- and intrafractional differences in anatomy and respiration, whilst mitigating the risk of CT to MRI registration errors. Three methods were devised to calculate synthetic 4D and midposition (time-weighted mean position of the respiratory cycle) CT from 4D-T1w and Dixon MRI. The first approach employed intensity-based segmentation of Dixon MRI for bulk-density assignment (sCT<sub>D</sub>). The second step added spine density information using an atlas of CT and Dixon MRI (sCT<sub>DS</sub>). The third iteration used a polynomial function relating Hounsfield units and normalised T1w image intensity to account for variable lung density (sCT<sub>DSL</sub>). Motion information in 4D-T1w MRI was applied to generate synthetic CT in midposition and in twenty respiratory phases. For six lung cancer patients, synthetic 4D-CT was validated against 4D-CT in midposition by comparison of Hounsfield units and dose-volume metrics. Dosimetric differences found by comparing sCT<sub>D,DS,DSL</sub> and CT were evaluated using a Wilcoxon signed-rank test (p = 0.05). Compared to sCT<sub>D</sub> and sCT<sub>DS</sub>, planning on sCT<sub>DSL</sub> significantly reduced absolute dosimetric differences in the planning target volume metrics to less than 98 cGy (1.7 % of the prescribed dose) on average. When comparing sCT<sub>DSL</sub> and CT, average radiodensity differences were within 97 Hounsfield units and dosimetric differences were significant only for the planning target volume D99 % metric. All methods produced clinically acceptable results for the organs at risk in accordance with the UK SABR consensus guidelines and the LungTech EORTC phase II trial. The overall good agreement between sCT<sub>DSL</sub> and CT demonstrates the feasibility of employing synthetic 4D-CT for plan adaptation on hybrid MR-guided radiotherapy systems.
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radiotherapy treatment planning
Radiotherapy Physics Modelling
License start date
Phys Med Biol, 2019